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Autumn 1889 (Age 15)

Lord Randolph Churchill had decided that Winston should enter the Army. Mr. Welldon, the Headmaster, told Lord Randolph that Winston was not good enough to pass into Woolwich, the military academy for the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers, and that he should aim for Sandhurst, the school for infantry and cavalry.

In September Winston entered the Army Class at Harrow. Although his father visited him this term, the boy’s behaviour was not good. He was required to receive a weekly report from his teachers and show them to his tutor. He did not like this and asked his mother to “Jaw Welldon about keeping me on reports for such a long time.” She did but it did not provide him with the release he desired.

He also remained in contact with his first form-master, Mr. Somervell. In My Early Life he paid tribute to the latter’s teaching of the English language. Because of Mr. Somervell he wrote: “I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence – which is a noble thing. And when in after years my schoolfellows who had won prizes and distinction for writing such beautiful Latin poetry and pithy Greek epigrams had to come, down again to common English, to earn their living or make their way, I did not feel myself at any disadvantage. Naturally I am biased in favour of boys learning English. I would make them all learn English; and Greek as a treat. But the only thing I would whip them for is not knowing English. I would whip them hard for that….”

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