One of their most famous escapees was Douglas Bader, but unfortunately it was unsuccessful through several unforeseen circumstances. Douglas Bader was very keen to escape and preparations were started. A man was picked who resembled Bader and he spent some time studying Bader’s walk. When this was perfected arrangements were made for Bader to go out on a working party, from which the escape would be made. He was provided with a very long greatcoat to conceal his legs, and his very distinctive walk. But things went wrong. Transport which should have met them did not arrive – and so the party kept walking. This of course made Bader’s stumps very sore and the attempt had to be abandoned. In the meantime everything had gone wrong at the camp. A high-ranking German officer who had previously met and admired Bader was in the vicinity and decided he would like to see him again. He went to the camp, the so-called Bader was sent for to meet this German officer. He took one look at him and said “You’re not Bader!” and then all hell was let loose!
I am enclosing photographs which Pat brought home with him. I thought they might be of some interest. The only one I can tell you anything about is the one of Father John Berry who was the much-loved RC Chaplain. Pat said he was a wonderful, charismatic man and an inspiration to so many of them.
Mrs Midge Hennessy