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The Great Escape

  • Great Escape gala screening
    Gala events pays to tribute to the airmen of the Great Escape

    Thousands of people filled London's Hammersmith Apollo and cinemas nationwide on Sunday to pay tribute to the 50 Allied airmen killed in the aftermath of the Great Escape.

  • Great Escape commemorations in Poland
    Airmen of the Great Escape remembered 75 years on

    What makes the Great Escape from North Compound, Stalag Luft III in March 1944 so remarkable? The sheer audacity of the incarcerated airmen, their ambition and the scale of the planned breakout.

  • Bram Vanderstok
    How pilot Bram Vanderstok found his way to freedom in the Great Escape

    Seventy-five years ago to the day, a group of POWs were preparing to crawl to freedom through a 300-foot long tunnel in what would become known as the Great Escape. One of the inmates at Stalag Luft III was Bram Vanderstok, a Dutch Spitfire pilot, and one of only three men to make a 'home run'.

  • Steve McQueen
    "Without the film, who'd remember the 50 who were murdered?"

    Of the 76 who escaped from Stalag Luft III, 50 were handed over to the Gestapo and shot dead. In this blog, former PoW Charles Clarke tells us how The Great Escape film has helped ensure that these men are never forgotten.

  • John Leyton meets Stalag Luft III veteran
    "We did it the easy way" – Great Escape film actor meets Stalag Luft III veteran

    When John Leyton, now 83, starred in one of the most iconic war films of the 20th century, he knew the story they were telling was a real one.

  • Jack Lyon last interview with the RAF Benevolent Fund
    Tribute to Jack Lyon

    The RAF Benevolent Fund is saddened to hear of the loss of 101-year-old RAF veteran Jack Lyon, who passed away on Friday. Jack joined the RAF aged 23 and flew with Bomber Command during the Second World War. The Fund spoke to Jack in what could be his last interview as part of its commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Great Escape.

  • Squadron Leader Roger Bushell
    "Big X – one of the greatest of his generation"

    The mastermind of the Great Escape was Squadron Leader Roger Bushell. Described by his Commanding Officer as 'one of the greatest of his generation', Bushell was born and brought up in South Africa but went to school in England, studied law at Cambridge and became a London barrister.

  • Charles Clarke
    "I came down in snowdrifts"

    Former Flight Lieutenant Charles Clarke was imprisoned in Stalag Luft III after being captured on enemy territory. Here Charles tells us about his capture.

  • Charles Clarke
    "The trouble with prison life is that we were all very young people. It seemed an age for us"

    Former PoW Charles Clarke tells us what life was like for the prisoners at Stalag Luft III during World War Two.

  • Jack Lyon
    "Our aircraft had been observed liked a great torch in the sky'"

    Former Flight Lieutenant Jack Lyon was just 23 when he joined the RAF as an Aircraftman. He entered Stalag Luft III, the scene of the Great Escape, in 1942 when it opened and was later moved to the north compound, home to the tunnels 'Tom' , 'Dick' and 'Harry'.

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