Shortly after the first world war erupted in 1914, Churchill volunteered to observe the fighting first hand in France. While in his heavily sandbagged trench shelter he received an invitation from a General asking Churchill to visit. The instructions called a three mile walk to a crossroad where Churchill would be picked up by an official vehicle and driven to the General's headquarters. After waiting for more than an hour, a vehicle arrived. The driver informed Churchill that he had been sent to the wrong crossroads and now it was too late for the meeting to take place.
Churchill began the long three mile march back to his trench. By now it was dark and rain was falling. En route, Churchill's mood soured as he thought about the great waste of time and the carelessness of the General in providing an incorrect location. When he returned to his shelter, Churchill saw that it no longer existed. Five minutes after he left, a shell came directly into it killing everyone inside. Later, Churchill reported how his mood shifted from anger and frustration to appreciation and gratitude. He wrote: "Suddenly I felt my irritation against General X pass completely from my mind. All sense of grievance departed in a flash. As I walked to my new abode, I reflected on how thoughtful it had been of him to wish to see me again, and to show courtesy to a subordinate when he had so much responsibility on his shoulders."