Aug 16 2013
Tip of the hat to Uncle Fester for finding the best first paragraph of any Wikipedia entry. Ever.
"Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart (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 two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a POW camp; and pulled off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. Describing his experiences in World War I, he wrote, "Frankly I had enjoyed the war."
What is it about English tough guys taking off their own fingers? See Sir Ranulph Fiennes. "He sustained severe frostbite to the tips of all the fingers on his left hand, forcing him to abandon the attempt. On returning home, his surgeon insisted the necrotic fingertips be retained for several months before amputation, to allow regrowth of the remaining healthy tissue. Impatient at the pain the dying fingertips caused, Fiennes cut them off himself with a fretsaw, just above where the blood and the soreness were."