January 1, 1970

At Banstead Manor, one of his childhood homes, Churchill played ‘soldiers’ with his brother, building a ‘Den’ (a log fort) surrounded by a moat and with a drawbridge, defended with a gun (a toy one) and a catapult that fired apples.

As soon as Churchill went to Harrow School, he joined the Harrow Rifle Corps and, following encouragement from his father, was enrolled in the academic programme to prepare students for Sandhurst (the Royal Military College, now called the Royal Military Academy).

Churchill was a rebellious and active youngster, regularly testing his courage and daring. When he was eighteen, he fell nearly thirty feet from a bridge and was in a coma for three days, having also ruptured his kidney and fractured his thigh (he’d been playing a game of chase with his brother and a cousin and, trying to get away from them, had leapt for a tree, missed it and fallen). While recovering, he heard that he’d failed to get into the Royal Military College at Sandhurst on his second attempt.

Read more here about Churchill as a teenager and see previously unseen photographs.

2024 International Churchill Conference

Join us for the 41st International Churchill Conference. London | October 2024

A tribute, join us




Get the Churchill Bulletin delivered to your inbox once a month.