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We've Uncovered the REAL Great Escapers in our Prisoner of War Records

20 March 2019

75 years on, we've unearthed the records of the men involved in one of history's most famous breaks for freedom

Were any of your family members interred in a Prison of War camp? Start your family tree and you'll get automatic hints to view relevant records from our vast military collection.

Findmypast - London office

Several of the characters in the famous film - such as Squadron Leader Bartlett - were based on real men interred in the camps, who appear in our
Prisoner of War collection, in association with The National Archives.

Findmypast - London office

Churchill and Royle on the list of recaptured escapees. All of these men, bar Richard Churchill, are no longer with us.

Stalag Luft III, or Air Prison 3 in English, was designed by the German authorities to be supposedly 'escape proof' and its architect, von Lindeiner, became the camp's first commandant. It was built in an eastern part of Germany known for its loose soil to prevent any tunnelling and to maximise the distances any escaped POWs would have to travel. Despite these difficulties, tunnel the prisoners did.

More Military Movie Discoveries: The Dunkirk Stars with War Hero Relatives