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Armored Train Ambush 11-15-99 Chuchill & Haldane 8 months 1 week ago #79328

  • Neville_C
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And an unpublished snapshot of Churchill entering the camp of the South African Light Horse on Christmas Day, 1899.



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Armored Train Ambush 11-15-99 Chuchill & Haldane 8 months 1 week ago #79330

  • Rob D
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Here's a more familiar photo of the same occasion.
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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Armored Train Ambush 11-15-99 Chuchill & Haldane 8 months 1 week ago #79331

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Some observations about Churchill:
- Although he was captured without his C96 pistol (In London to Ladysmith via Pretoria he writes: "I reached down for my Mauser pistol. 'This one at least,' I said, and indeed it was a certainty; but alas! I had left the weapon in the cab of the engine in order to be free to work at the wreckage.", it seems to have been given back to him when he returned to Natal. This photo shows him visiting the wreck of the train, with his C96 high up under his right arm (Churchill was left-handed) butt forward and a lanyard round his neck to its lanyard ring. He is wearing a new, tailor-made tunic wit metal buttons and horizontal pockets high on each breast to take clips of 7.63mm ammo for the C96.
In his left breast pocket there looks like the outline of a compass, secured by a lanyard to his 2nd buttonhole.
His hat looks very like the smart one he wore when he arrived at the SALH camp, but possibly pummelled to give the right impression?
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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Armored Train Ambush 11-15-99 Chuchill & Haldane 8 months 1 week ago #79332

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Later, Churchill tried unsuccessfully to grown a moustache, and wore another tailor-made tunic, this time of lighter fabric, with horn buttons and an open collar. He also wears the SALH slouch hat with hand-made badge and feather plume. I suspect the plume is ostrich feather, not Sakabula as it should be for SALH. Possibly he was back in England when these were posed. He still wears his C96 pistol for this studio session - the butt and lanyard ring are visible at the level of his belt). At least 4 different views of him were taken at this photo session; he was not camera-shy.

The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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Armored Train Ambush 11-15-99 Chuchill & Haldane 8 months 1 week ago #79333

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The type of SALH badge worn by Churchill (with the distinctive raised lettering) ....



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Armored Train Ambush 11-15-99 Chuchill & Haldane 8 months 1 week ago #79352

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His assistant/batman Thomas Walden retrieved the Mauser for Churchill and also enlisted in the SALH while Churchill was a POW. I did a name search for Mr. Walden but can't find any record of his service. I actually asked the Churchill Archives Centre if they had any pictures of the man but they said they did not.
I also learned from them that Churchill was left handed which is why he wears his sidearm on the right side. His shoulder injury, from getting off the boat in India was to the right shoulder. This explains why he could play and excel at polo but could not play tennis. He would have trouble tossing a service ball into the air.

Another picture from the same sitting.
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