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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Any one got that photo of churchill with the Number 4?

cheers all,
Lachy.
 

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It's from movie footage

There is film footage (that is, motion picture) of WSC and the No 4 rifle. It turns out that the famous photo of WSC inspecting the No. 4 that we all know from Skennerton is in fact a still from this footage.

I know this because I saw the footage in a Churchill biography produced by BBC-TV, narrated by Martin Gilbert. I have it on tape; I'll look for it and see at what point this scene occurs. The whole inpsection happens very quickly, just a few seconds; he sort of fumbles with the action for a second and that's it.

As a subaltern in the 4th Hussars (or indeed as a Sandhurst cadet), Churchill would have been trained with the Long Lee. I'm sure the basic action was familiar to him. Not sure if he himself ever fired a Lee Enfield in combat (as an officer he used a sword and pistol), though he DID use a Martini in action (borrowed from a sepoy) in 1897. See his book "My Early Life."

In that book (written in 1930), he speaks so fondly of his Broomhandle Mauser pistol ("I have it now!", he says in Chapter XIX). that one wonders how he would react to the present disarmament of the British public. Who knows? Maybe he would have been elitist about the whole thing and only supported gun ownership for certain segments of the population. It is certain, however, that he himself was fond of firearms. "My Early Life" is a great, great book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From memory he lost that broomhandle didn't he? I remember reading somewhere that someone has found it and it's now on display in some museum.
 

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broomhandle

We know that he still had it in 1930 when he wrote "My Early Life". I doubt he would have lost it, since he kept it for over 30 years since he used it to defend his life at the Battle of Omdurman. He died in 1965. Now since then, perhaps his estate lost it, but more likely the Gov't attempted (or succeeded) in confiscating it.

I recall reading recently (past few years) that they demanded it, but there were negotiations to have it displayed in a museum instead...DEACTIVATED. Sad. This is just hearsay until I can locate where I read that.
 

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jc5, I saw the same BBC footage and the whole scene was over almost as soon as it began. If the photo in Skennerton's book isn't from the film, it's from a still photographer standing in nearly the same spot as the reel photographer!

I've wondered if the rifle was unexpectedly on safety or half cock as he seemed to fumble with the No.4 and I wouldn't have thought he'd have any problems handling one.

Regards, Brad
 

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From memory he lost that broomhandle didn't he? I remember reading somewhere that someone has found it and it's now on display in some museum.
He definitely lost it when General Louis Botha, who later became the 1st prime minister of The Union of South Africa, took him prisoner when they derailed the train he was on at Chieveley in Natal in 1899.

Sprog
 

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WSC

Yes, he had lost the C96 Mauser a short while before being captured by Botha, having left it on the armored train. The pistol made it home safe and back into his keeping after his escape. t's all there in "My Early Life". Recommended reading.

Good thing he mistakenly left it on the train actually. If he had retained it, he would likely have been shot dead right there.
 

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Yes, he had lost the C96 Mauser a short while before being captured by Botha, having left it on the armored train. The pistol made it home safe and back into his keeping after his escape. t's all there in "My Early Life". Recommended reading.

Good thing he mistakenly left it on the train actually. If he had retained it, he would likely have been shot dead right there.
That may be so, but the Mauser would in all probability still be in working order, not deactivated in a museum
 
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