Winston spent the term with Captain James preparing for his third attempt to get into Sandhurst. As always, mathematics was a struggle for him. ‘I am assured [that mathematical skills] are most helpful in engineering, astronomy and things like that,’ he wrote, ‘…and I am glad there are quite a number of people born with a gift and a liking for all this.’ He was not one of those people.
Calling for single-minded devotion to studies, Captain James was worried that Winston was distracted by his father’s political fortunes. However, by May he noted progress and in June he predicted success. He had forecast correctly. Winston came 95th out of 389, four places too low to get into the infantry, but enough to qualify for a cavalry cadet. Appropriately, he would not receive a charger promised by Aunt Lily, Lord Blandford’s widow.
Get the Churchill Bulletin delivered to your inbox once a month.