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The Great Escape

  • 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'.

  • Charles Clarke and his crew
    "It was every boy's ambition to join the Air Force"

    Former Flight Lieutenant Charles Clarke was 20 years old when he was shot down over enemy territory serving in Bomber Command. He was captured whilst trying to flee to safety in Switzerland and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III during the time of the Great Escape. Charles shares his recollections of life in the RAF and as a PoW in Stalag Luft III.

  • Squadron Leader Roger Bushell
    Remembering the men of the Great Escape

    Today we remember the 50 men who were murdered by the Gestapo after escaping from Stalag Luft III in the Great Escape.

  • Stalag Luft III
    "We will remember them"

    Author and historian Steve Darlow today joined air force veterans at Stalag Luft III, Zagan, Poland to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Great Escape. 

  • A drawing of the Great Escape
    "The plan was for 200 men to get out"

    In an interview with the late RAF veteran Jack Lyon. he explained how the PoWs at Stalag Luft III were split into three groups as they carefully planned their escape.

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