Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Churchill Series - Apr. 23, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Historian Douglas S. Russell tells us how Winston Churchill, a student at Harrow, became Lieutenant Churchill, 4th Queen’s Own Hussers.

Churchill entered Sandhurst on September 1st, 1893 at the age of eighteen years, ten months. He stood 5’ 6" tall.

The Royal Military is located at Camberley, southwest of London. Founded in 1741, it served the purpose of training officers for the infantry and cavalry. Sometimes referred to as Britain’s West Point, it was not in fact a four-year college, and granted no degree.

Churchill took the standard course: three terms of instruction and training over an eighteen-month period. The old school is still there today, looking just as it did in the 1890s.

The subjects were few and practical: tactics, fortification, topography (map making), military law and military administration. He also trained in drill, marksmanship, riding, gymnastics, and fencing.

Sandhurst uniforms were those of the regular army, including the red dress coat and the dress blue spike helmet.

Churchill did well at Sandhurst, graduating twentieth out of a class of 130 in December 1894. As he later wrote, "It shows that I could learn quickly the things that matter."

For the first time in his life his personal interests and his work were the same and he excelled. A distinguished career had begun.

Douglass S. Russell, Lt. Churchill,4th Queen’s Own Hussars.
The Churchill Centre.