View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:40 pm



Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
"Mad" Jack Churchill 
Author Message

Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:38 am
Posts: 153
Location: Connecticut, USA
Post "Mad" Jack Churchill
There is an interesting thread on "Tradgang.com" under the history tab concerning "Mad" Jack Churchill and Abner Shepardson - an American bowyer. The issue concerns who made the bow that "Mad" Jack Churchill used on his WWII Commando raid(s)? One thought was that it might have been Shepardson, who made carriage bows. Also, Purle has been identified as another possibility.

Shepardson was a former president of the National Archery Association in the United States and known for being a superb craftsman of arrows as well as a bowyer.

Does anyone have any input with respect to the bows that Churchill used for his wartime excursions and whether Shepardson made any of those bows or perhaps the handle section?

_________________
Dave Sterling


Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:52 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:10 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Denmark
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
Are you sure the bows he used were handmade? I've seen a photo of him from around 1937-38 were he is shooting either an Accles & Pollock or a Seefab take-down steel-bow.
Ole
(He wasn't the only "mad soldier" who used a bow and arrow during WW2. The danish major Andy Lassen (VC) was also a very able archer)


Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:06 pm
Profile

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 136
Location: England
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
I have several of Jack's bows, acquired from his son Malcolm some years ago. Three are conventional Emglish bows by ALDRED but one is an unmarked self lemonwood example. No maker and with no draw-weight shown. It is marked PB 80 however and if this means Point Blank at 80 yards it is more powerful than it seems. It is conventionally profiled and has horn nocks. It is possibly by a U.S bowyer, but it is not a take-down, so unless Abner made other than take-downs it isn't by him. The bow shown on TV last Sunday by Carol Pierce looks odd in the handle area -much is covered by what apprears to be black tape and may be a t-d, but she has not yet answered my querying e-mail about it. I also have several of his hunting arrows, stained red and with Howard Hill broadheads which I believe may be U.S.in origin.


Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:26 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:38 am
Posts: 153
Location: Connecticut, USA
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
Ole, the "tradgang.com" thread does mention that it may have been a Seefab or Apollo bow. A steel bow would have made a lot of sense; however, a carriage bow probably would have been lighter and easier to cart around -- particularly during wartime.

Andy Lassen (VC) sounds interesting. I am not sure what "VC" stands for? Are there any English sources describing Lassen's archery activities?

Hugh, your Churchill bows and arrows sound interesting. Is "PB" something that was particular to UK bowyers -- I don't recall any bows in this country using that nomenclature although I could be wrong. Do you recall any insightful articles appeared on Jack Churchill in "Archery News"?

You also mentioned an English TV show appearing last Sunday. Could you elaborate please? Did it feature a story about "Mad" Jack?

_________________
Dave Sterling


Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:49 am
Profile

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:10 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Denmark
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
VC means Victoria Cross, the highest decoration you can get in UK. Andy Lassen was also awarded Military Cross three times.
Andy Lassen wrote a letter to the British High Command in 1941, recommending the use of bow and arrow.
He himself was a member of SBS (Special Boat Squadron, the british Navy Seals) and was killed in action in Italy 1945.
He was also a close friend and neighbour to count Gregers Ahlefeldt, who showed him how to make and shoot in the longbow.
I have seen an english biography, but I can't remember who wrote it.
Ole


Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:32 pm
Profile

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 136
Location: England
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
PB is not a bowyery term known to me., The most likely explanation I think is Point Blank. There are two excellent Articles currently published on Jack Churchill. One in a Dutch magaizine and one in a French magazine. Each is well worth a visit if only for the pics. If you can follow the text then that will be a bonus.


Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:43 pm
Profile

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 136
Location: England
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
Nothing in 'Archery News' that I can find. The programme I menined was the 'Antiques Road Show' where Carol Pearce showed a bow belonging to Jack. I think it is described in detail in the Dutch Article I mentioned earlier.


Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:48 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:38 am
Posts: 153
Location: Connecticut, USA
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
Ole - I thought that VC might stand for Victoria Cross but wasn't sure -- thanks for clarifying. As I recall, Count Bille had been a game warden in Africa in addition to having an interest in archery. I have his book "Impala" but not his book "Modern Bueskydning" -- the latter book providing instructions on how to shoot and make archery tackle. He must have been an interesting friend and neighbor to Lassen.

Hugh - thanks for the updates. I like the Antiques Road Show but missed this one. Maybe that particular show is available to see 'on-line'. Also, many thanks for checking "Archery News"!

_________________
Dave Sterling


Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:03 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:38 am
Posts: 153
Location: Connecticut, USA
Post Re: "Mad" Jack Churchill
E. G. Heath in his book "Archery - A Military History" mentions that "Jack Churchill had been a member of the British Team in the World Archery Championship at Oslo earlier in 1939, and before embarking for France he had made a powerful yew bow and some hunting arrows. He first used one of these while on patrol beyond the Maginot Line, the German positions being some sixty yards ahead."

If Heath is correct, this would rule out the possibility of a 'steel bow'.

Pages 215 to 217 mention Anders Lassen, V.C. He wrote a letter to the British War Office under the heading "Bow and Arrow used in modern warfare". At the time he wrote the letter "...Lassen and his group of Commandos were in training at Achnacarry, in the Highlands of Scotland, and shortly after writing his letter two bows with arrows arrived from the War Office."

_________________
Dave Sterling


Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:55 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 9 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.