Churchillís life was always marked by impulsiveness. As a schoolboy, the young Winston was punished for taking sugar from the school pantry. His response was to go to the headmasterís study and kick his straw hat to pieces.
Similar qualities first brought him to the attention of the British public when, after being made a POW in South Africa, he crawled through a latrine window to escape his prison camp and went on the run.
When Winston Churchill and Clementine Hozier got engaged in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, they agreed to keep it a secret until she had told her mother. But returning to the house, Winston could not contain his excitement and sprinted across the lawn shouting the news to the guests at a garden party.
Churchill gained a reputation for bold and original thinking in military planning. His ideas in some cases led to disaster, such as the attempt to force the Dardanelles in the First Worl War or the daring offensive against Nazi-occupied Norway. But there were also dramatic successes, such as the evacuation from the beaches of Calais and Dunkirk, where 300,000 men were saved.
In October 1896, when Churchill arrived with the 4th Hussars in Bombay, his haste to disembark was such that he fell and dislocated his shoulder.