Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a tough guy. He wasn't the kind of guy who would tell you he was tough, but he walked the walk. Son of a Belgian aristocrat and an Irish mother, he ended up in an English boarding school, and after that began to attend Oxford. The Boer War started and Wiart realized what he was going to do. He lied his way into the British Army and never looked back. He had suffered many wounds from 2 different wars and rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant before he even became a British citizen.
Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Carton de Wiart
He was wounded grieviously in the chest and groin in his first trip to the Boer War. As it wasn't finished, neither was he, and he finished the war in the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. After shipping off to India, war beckoned again with the Dervish revolt in British Somaliland. Joining the Camel Corps, Wiart sustained more wounds in a battle at Shimber Berris, storming a Dervish stronghold. The wizzing of bullets sounded like a storm of bees, and De Wiart's clothes and eye were punctured. His blood was up, and as he surged towards the fort Wiart was hit again in the same eye from close range, with the surgeon sewing him up as the battle raged around them.
While convalescing in England, he realized a bigger war was going on in Europe, one he was not to be left out of. It took some talking, with Britain not really interested in sending one eyed officers to war, and in 1915 headed to the Western Front. He commanded 3 infantry battalians and a brigade during WW1, but was not one to fight behind a desk. He participated in the battles of the Somme, Passchendaele, Cambrai and Arras, among others. He was wounded continuously, in every part of his body from his skull to his foot. In later years, after falling down a flight of stairs, the doctor found numerous splinters from the first world war. Legend has it that when a doctor wouldn't amputate his hand that he bit his own fingers off. Tough guy.
He had been assigned to a mission in Poland when WW2 broke out. He had helped organize resistance, but was soon on the run as the Nazi's gained the upper hand. Finally getting airlifted out, he was next sent to Norway to build up a force there, and his plane was shot up while landing by German fighters. He organized the defense as best he could, but the Germans forced him out, and his men were rescued by Lord Mountbatten (another tough guy).
In 1941, Wiart was sent to Yugoslavia to the British Mission, but his plane's engines quit over enemy territory and he ditched in the waters off Libya and he was captured by the Italians. He wasn't one to sit in a POW camp and escaped five times, the last time gaining his freedom. This escapee had one eye, one hand and was 61 years old in 1943. What a guy!
He had lots more adventures than I can address here. Carton De Wiart didn't have to do any of this. He was a Belgian citizen of aristocratic heritage. He knew everyone who was anybody. His decorations include the Victoria Cross, The Order of the British Empire and lots more. After living a quite full life, he finally succumbed to our eternal foe in 1963.