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Meet The Unkillable WWI Soldier Who Lost An Eye And A Hand But Considered War ‘Fun’

16 Mar 2020 450.3k views13 items

Bold, brash, and just a little bit bonkers, Adrian Carton de Wiart was heralded as the "unkillable soldier" for good reason: Nothing slowed him down. As a veteran of some of the 20th century's deadliest conflicts, Carton de Wiart endured everything from serious head wounds to missing limbs but never seemed to consider the immense costs of war. 

Adrian Carton de Wiart was born in Brussels in 1880 and spent part of his childhood in Cairo. Thanks to his family's relative wealth and privilege, he was educated in England under the expectation that he would become a lawyer.

But Carton de Wiart was soon lured off this path by a lust for battle. He served in the British Army in no fewer than three conflicts: the Second Boer War, WWI, and WWII, not to mention several other military escapades in between. Throughout these experiences, he lost an eye, had his hand amputated, and endured many, many more lesions that ravaged his body. Despite all of this, Carton de Wiart fought on with a steely resolve. His spirit even impressed Winston Churchill, who contributed the forward to Carton de Wiart's memoir Happy Odyssey. He lived to the age of 83, taking his last breath in Ireland in 1963.

There is a fine line between heroic relentlessness and foolhardy recklessness - and Adrian Carton de Wiart gleefully danced along that line during his long tenure in the British Army. 

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