Winston Churchill Is Transferred To Bombay

In early October 1896, he was transferred to Bombay, British India.

He was considered one of the best polo players in his regiment and led his team to many prestigious tournament victories.

In 1897, Churchill attempted to travel to both report and, if necessary, fight in the Greco-Turkish War, but this conflict effectively ended before he could arrive. Later, while preparing for a leave in England, he heard that three brigades of the British Army were going to fight against a Pashtun tribe in the North West Frontier of India and he asked his superior officer if he could join the fight. He fought under the command of General Jeffery, who was the commander of the second brigade operating in Malakand, in the Frontier region of British India. Jeffery sent him with fifteen scouts to explore the Mamund Valley; while on reconnaissance, they encountered an enemy tribe, dismounted from their horses and opened fire. After an hour of shooting, their reinforcements, the 35th Sikhs arrived, and the fire gradually ceased and the brigade and the Sikhs marched on. Hundreds of tribesmen then ambushed them and opened fire, forcing them to retreat. As they were retreating four men were carrying an injured officer but the fierceness of the fight forced them to leave him behind. The man who was left behind was slashed to death before Churchill’s eyes; afterwards he wrote of the killer, "I forgot everything else at this moment except a desire to kill this man." However the Sikhs' numbers were being depleted so the next commanding officer told Churchill to get the rest of the men and boys to safety.

In September 1896 the 4th Hussars were deployed from Aldershot to Bangalore, India. Churchill’s arrival in Bombay aboard the steamship S.S. Britannia was inauspicious. Typically eager to be the first to do something, he and several other officers were given permission to embark before the main party and hired a small skiff to take them ashore. As they reached the notoriously dangerous quayside, the heavy swells caused the skiff to rise four or five feet, and when Churchill grabbed an iron stanchion while attempting to transfer to the dock, he lost his grip and slipped on the wet steps, painfully wrenching and probably dislocating his right shoulder. The injury was serious enough that it bothered him for the remainder of his life. His shoulder would frequently displace, sometimes from the simplest of motions, such as reaching for a book, swimming or the occasion when he made an expansive gesture during a speech in the House of Commons. He was unable to play tennis and in order to play polo had to strap his arm to his chest. Of greater importance was that he could no longer use a sword and instead relied on a Mauser “Broomhandle” pistol for close combat. The injury, recalled Churchill, was “a grave embarrassment in moments of peril, violence and effort.”