Former POWs mark 'Great Escape' anniversary





Former prisoners of the German POW camp immortalised in the film 'The Great Escape' will return this week to pay homage to the men who were murdered after the breakout.

Adolf Hitler ordered 50 recaptured Allied airmen to be shot as a deterrent to others seeking to escape after their spectacular bid for freedom from Stalag Luft III.

Tuesday will be the 65th anniversary of the spectacular freedom bid and the men involved will be honoured by several prisoners who were in the camp that was formerly in Germany but now lies near the town of Zagan in Poland.

One of six former Stalag Luft III prisoners returning to remember the men who died is Andrew Wiseman of Bray, Berkshire, who was shot down over France and is now 87.

Another returning survivor of the camp is Bill Fripp, 95, of Bournemouth, the navigator of an RAF reconnaissance flight shot down over Germany in October 1939 and held in a dozen different POW camps during the 5 years and 7 months of his imprisonment.

Although not a Great Escaper, Bill's pilot was among those recaptured and shot by the Gestapo.

A further six survivors from other Nazi POW camps will stand with them at the end of the escape tunnel Harry and drink a glass of champagne to the spirit of the prisoners.



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