Just posted on the always excellent boingboing.net:
The best opening paragraph on Wikipedia
Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (5 May 1880–5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish descent. He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War, was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear, survived a plane crash, tunneled out of a POW camp, and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. He later said, “Frankly I had enjoyed the war”.
This extraordinary character has strong links to Egypt. Although born into an aristocratic family in Brussels, at the age of six the household relocated to Cairo where Carton de Wiart’s father became a court magistrate and, later, a director of the Cairo Electric Railways, the company responsible for developing the suburb of Heliopolis. He dispatched his son back to England for schooling where, on graduating from Oxford, he joined the army and was sent off to fight in the Boer War, commencing his campaign to discard bits of his anatomy (by the end of World War I he was down his left hand, an eye and part of one ear). His mental faculties remained intact and he became a valued advisor to Churchill. In this capacity he was invited to attend the 1943 Cairo Conference, with Churchill, Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-Shek of the Republic of China, held at the residence of the American ambassador to Egypt, Alexander Kirk, near the Pyramids, and at the Mena House hotel. See, you knew there’d be a hotel link in there eventually.
Read the rest of the Carton de Wiart’s Wikipedia entry here.