The death of Lord Randolph Churchill on 24 January 1895, aged just forty-five, and before Churchill had been able to prove himself to his father, clearly had a profound effect. Churchill became a cavalry officer in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars only a month later but almost from the beginning his mind was set on following his father into politics. To do this he needed fame and fortune.
In the five years between 1895 and 1900, he sought them both by getting himself transferred to as many dangerous places as possible and then writing up his experiences as newspaper articles and books. He was shot at in Cuba, fought in what is now Pakistan, on the Afghan border, survived a cavalry charge in the Sudan, and made the headlines by escaping from Boer captivity in South Africa.
This section tells you how the young Churchill launched himself on the world.