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Henry Carton de Wiart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Carton de Wiart
Henri Carton de Wiart.jpg
23rd Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
20 November 1920 – 16 December 1921
MonarchAlbert I
Preceded byLéon Delacroix
Succeeded byGeorges Theunis
Personal details
Born(1869-01-31)31 January 1869
Brussels, Belgium
Died6 May 1951(1951-05-06) (aged 82)
Uccle, Belgium
Political partyCatholic Party

Henry Victor Marie Ghislain, Count Carton de Wiart (31 January 1869 – 6 May 1951) was the 23rd Prime Minister of Belgium from 20 November 1920 to 6 May 1921. He was member of the aristocratic house of Carton de Wiart, his brother Edmond Carton de Wiart was the Grand Marshall of King Baudouin.

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  • ✪ Britain's "Unkillable" Soldier, Adrian Carton de Wiart
  • ✪ Adrian Carton de Wiart: The Most Badass Soldier of All Time and a Real Life Action Hero
  • ✪ Adrian Carton de Wiart


Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart. Not sure how well I’m pronouncing that, but I’ll be calling him Adrian throughout the remainder of this video. With his eye patch and empty sleeve, just his image alone is enough to ask questions. This guy served as a British officer in the Boer War, the First World War, and the Second World War, survived two plane crashes, was shot in the head, face, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear, tunneled out of a prisoner-of-war camp, broke his back, and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate. Born in Brussels in 1880, Adrian spent his early years in both Belgium and England. At the age of six, he moved to Cairo, Egypt so his father could practice law there. Adrian was Catholic and learned to speak Arabic. In 1891, he attended an English boarding school and then went on to college, but left to join the British Army during the Boer War in South Africa in 1899. Early in the war, Adrian was wounded in the stomach and sent home. His father was furious about him leaving college, but allowed him to stay in the military. Adrian was given a commission in the Second Imperial Light Horse and soon saw further action in South Africa. He was made a second lieutenant of the 4th Dragoon Guards in 1901. In 1902, he was transferred to British India. In 1904, after returning to South Africa, Adrian was made an aide-de-camp to the commander-in-chief there. Having remained a Belgian subject during this entire time, Adrian finally became a naturalized British subject in 1907. When World War I began, Adrian first served in British Somaliland. In an attack upon an enemy fort, he was shot twice in the face, losing an eye and also a portion of his ear. In 1915, he took part in fighting on the Western Front in France, commanding three infantry battalions and a brigade. He was wounded seven more times during the war and lost his left hand in 1915. He even bit off his own fingers when a doctor declined to remove them. He had been shot through the skull, ankle, hip, leg, and ear. He received several promotions in rank throughout the war, eventually attaining the rank of major. He also received several awards and medals for his service, including the Victoria Cross, the highest honor for combat in the British Empire. Even after having been wounded so severely, Adrian later said of his experiences, “Frankly, I had enjoyed the war.” After the war, Adrian went on to serve in Poland for a few years, surviving an airplane crash and a brief period of captivity. He retired from the army in 1923 with the honorary rank of major general. Adrian began to lead a peaceful life on a large estate in eastern Europe near the Soviet border. His retirement was later interrupted in 1939 when he was recalled to duty and appointed as the head of the British Military Mission to Poland. Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany in September and the Soviets soon joined in the attack from the east. Adrian’s estate was taken during the fighting. Adrian went on to serve in Norway and Northern Ireland throughout 1940 when he turned 60 years old. With the Nazis preparing to invade Yugoslavia, the Yugoslavs asked for British aid. Adrian was sent to Serbia to negotiate with the Yugoslavian government, traveling in a Wellington bomber across the Mediterranean. After refueling in Malta, the plane’s engines failed and the aircraft crashed into the sea about a mile from Italian-controlled Libya. Adrian was forced to swim ashore where he was captured by the Italians. Adrian was made a prisoner alongside several other officers who Rommel had captured in North Africa in 1941. Adrian attempted to escape several times, even tunneling for seven months. He once escaped and evaded recapture for eight days, disguising himself as an Italian civilian. In August 1943, Adrian was released from his imprisonment as the Italian government secretly planned to leave the war and sent him back to the British with the message. Less than a month after returning to England, Adrian was summoned by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He was given the rank of acting lieutenant-general and sent to India to later go on to China as Churchill’s personal representative. Before leaving for China, Adrian attended the 1943 Cairo Conference organized by Churchill, U.S. President Roosevelt, and Chinese General Chaing Kai Shek. A photograph of these leaders gathered in Cario shows Adrian standing behind them on the far right. Adrian spent his next years working with Chiang Kai Shek in China and often traveling to British India. During his time in China, Adrian fiercely denounced communism and called Mao Zedong a fanatic. When he met Mao at a dinner, he interrupted his speech to criticize him for holding back in the fight against Japan for domestic political reasons. Mao was stunned for a moment and then laughed. When the Japanese surrounded in August 1945, Adrian flew to Singapore to take part in the formal surrender. Near the end of his career, Adrian met American General Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo. He retired at the age of 67 in October 1947 with the honorary rank of lieutenant-general. On his way home to England, Adrian stopped in French Indochina as a guest of a military commander. He slipped coming down some stairs and fell, breaking his back and several vertebrae. He eventually recovered in an English hospital. After Adrian’s first wife died in 1949, he remarried in 1951 at the age of 71 to a woman 23 years younger than him. He settled in County Cork, Ireland where he took up fishing and hunting during his later years. Adrian died at the age of 83 in 1963. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to hit the like button and subscribe to my channel for future videos. You can also like my Facebook page for updates there. Leave a comment below with any feedback, additional information you may like to share, or suggestions for future videos you would like to see. You can check out another video on the WWII double agent, Juan Pujol Garcia right here. Thanks for watching.



Born in Brussels, Carton de Wiart studied law and became a lawyer. In 1894 he founded the cultural review Durendal, together with Pol Demade and Henry Moeller. He was elected to the Belgian House of Representatives as a left-wing Catholic Party member in 1896. He remained a Member of Parliament until his death in 1951.

Besides serving as prime minister from 1920 to 1921 in a government of national union (Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists), he served as minister of justice from 1911 to 1918, as Belgian delegate to the League of Nations from 1928 to 1935, and as minister of social welfare from 1932 to 1934. After the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940, Carton de Wiart accompanied the Belgian government into exile in London.

Having been given the honorific title of Minister of State, Carton de Wiart again served as minister of justice for a short time in 1950.

Carton de Wiart was a cousin of the famous British general, Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart.

A road in Jette, Belgium, is named in his honour: Avenue Carton de Wiart.


Foreign Honours
Political offices
Preceded by
Léon Delacroix
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Georges Theunis


Externe links

This page was last edited on 1 October 2019, at 18:14
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