It was 1899, and a dashing young Winston Churchill was roaming South Africa as a war correspondent, covering the Boer War. British forces were fighting the Boers (descendants of Dutch settlers) for control over two large territories.
One day in November, just before his 25th birthday, Churchill was accompanying a British reconnaissance mission when Boer commandos ambushed the unit’s armored train. Many were killed. Some escaped. Others—including Churchill, who stayed behind “to make a stand” —eventually surrendered, and were thrown into a prisoner-of-war camp in Pretoria.