History’s Manliest Man’s Man
17 Apr 2024

Two things…

One – I’m all for the renaissance man, in touch with his feelings, his softer side. I like the gays and I like daddies who are gentle with their kids and boys who pursue ballet and fine arts. I guard against the kind of machismo that leads to what the purple haired guardians of society’s virtue has decreed ”toxic” masculinity. But mate…

Second – I’m used to hype. The use of photography tricks, light, music and flowery prose to produce puff pieces turning pansies into pythons. You can tell when someone is being puffed up.

But when you read the first paragraph of someone’s ordinary, pedestrian Wikipedia entry and you read the following… you know you have stumbled on history’s Manliest Man’s Man. The following entry appears on this gentleman’s Wikipedia page. Unedited:

Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart was a British Army Officer. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration awarded for valour “in the face of the enemy” in various Commonwealth countries. He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War. He was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; was blinded in his left eye; survived two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a prisoner-of-war camp; and tore off his own fingers when a doctor declined to amputate them. Describing his experiences in the First World War, he wrote, “Frankly, I had enjoyed the war.”

Now look… I don’t know where you fall politically, nor do I care where I fall politically. But this guy was something else. I sprain an ankle and you’re going to have difficulty with me. I figure there’s a movie in here somewhere (I can see it work as an action comedy). He was Bruce Willis and Charles Bronson and potentially Chuck Norris all rolled into one.

I’m a lover, not a fighter. Yet I am honoured to live in a world where men like Sir Adrian existed. It lets me know that extraordinary times, extraordinary men and extraordinary stories existed and does exist.

Salute lads… there goes a man’s man…