He was nicknamed Mad Jack by his men during the Second World War.After coming face to face with Lieutenant Colonel John Churchill, the Germans probably had a similar, if less affectionate, moniker for the eccentric officer.
Rather than wield a sub-machine gun in battle, the commando leader inspired his comrades by storming beaches armed with a bow and arrow and two-handed sword, dressed in a kilt and playing a set of bagpipes.
He enhanced his reputation by capturing 42 German prisoners with only his broadsword and later escaping from one of the most daunting Nazi jails before the end of the war.
The colourful officer’s bravery – he is the only soldier in the war credited with killing enemy troops with arrows – earned him a chestful of gallantry medals, including two Distinguished Service Orders and a Military Cross.
Carrying an English longbow and American Indian arrows on to the battlefield, Lt Col Churchill’s fearlessness under fire became his hallmark.
He often said that ‘any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly armed’.