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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Weapons of Churchill's Bodyguard:

When I bought 'CHURCHILL'S BODYGUARD' by Tom Hickman - I was expecting it to be very censored & "p.c" ... WRONG ... It is EXCELLENT.
Detective Thompson was from London's East End and very useful with his fists.

For more than twentyfour years Detective Sgt. Walter Thompson (later Det. Inspector) worked very closely guarding Winston Churchill - through worldwide events that wrote the history books.

The book records Winston carrying his own Colt 1911 and being well able and prepared to use it - and to him having a high-backed tapestry chair at home fitted with a bullet-proof heavy steel plate fitted in the back.

Winston is often linked with a Mauser M 1896 pistol - and also with photos handling a "Tommy Gun"
- Churchill's C96 Mauser pistol was left on the train when he was captured in 1899 near Frere, Natal - and he dumped two clips of 'dum-dum bullets' at the roadside (witnessed by Camillo Ricchiardi of the Boer army).

Read more


Churchill commented that "the individual Boer, mounted, in a suitable country, is worth four or five regular soldiers."

 - However - once Churchill discovered Colt’s M1911 he purchased one in London in 1916 and had a holster custom made for it to fit his Sam Brown belt.

 - That 1911 pistol was possibly not chambered for the .45ACP but may have been one of the rare Colt M1911’s chambered for the British .455 Automatic cartridge as was used in the Webley Automatic pistol and in the specially made Colt 1911’s used by British forces personnel.
Churchill's Colt 1911 Held in The Imperial War Museum, London.
Serial no. C15566 ? (He may have owned more than one.)
(One source says that His Mother bought him a Colt Pistol)

In 1925 Detective Walter Thompson Owned A 1,000c.c. BSA G25 "10 H.P." Side-Car Combination.- Commuting To Downing St, Chequers, & To Chartwell Manor (with His Webley Revolvers.)

When in 1931 they sailed to USA on the German vessel Europa - there was a shooting range on board. "You must get some practice, Thompson" - "We spent some time on the range. In the ten years I had known him I had never seen him fire his Colt 45. I got a surprise. His marksmanship was deadly."

Note: As with other period writings - the word "revolver" seems to be used for any handgun including semi-auto pistols.

In early March 1943 Walter accidentally shot himself:

He was in the habit of shoving his Webley .32" auto pistol into his waistband when not wearing his jacket. He answered a direct-line phone call in Whitehall calling him to duty, and stretched over a settee to replace the telephone receiver .. the 'Webley automatic' slipped down his trousers, hit the floor, and fired.

Webley Model 1906  .32"acp Metropolitan Police pistol.

" firing a bullet through the calf of my left leg - diverted into my right thigh and, as I was in a crouching position, went upwards into my pelvis, lodging against my hipbone. My right leg collapsed. I began to bleed severely ... Scotland Yard had an ambulance for me in seven minutes."

- Months later as he recovered, Walter ascertained that "the catch" of his Webley .32" and several others in the armory was faulty.  - He picked-out a larger caliber surrendered German LUGER and was granted permission to use it in future. (US Presidential security men had annoyed him by laughing at his 'thirty-two').(Walter observes that he often carried Churchill's Colt .45" as well as his own pistol).
This book has fascinating & rare inside information - bloody interesting.

Marty K.