Page 1 of 8 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 76

Thread: Great Escape melting pot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    526
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Great Escape melting pot

    Dear All
    After a bit of scrabbling around with my PC I am submitting a list to start the ball rolling on who may or may not be involved in The Great Escape.
    Originally called "Escape 200" the idea was to get 200 men out. Of course you all know what happened.
    There are many books, web sites, obituaries etc out there which cast varying lists of names and numbers.
    Hopefully if we all put or minds together we can come up with something relatively comprehensive.

    I have not listed ranks as these may differ from the rank given when they were shot down, escaped or retired.
    There may be spelling errors. I have found a range of spellings that are in my notes on each individual.

    All names are listed alphabetially, and if the number in the draw is known that is listed too. However there may be some disagreement on some of these numbers.

    The names are sub divided into 'The Fifty', those that made home runs, remainder of those that are known to have been in The 200, those who were involved but were purged to other camps before the escape, and those who are known to have been involved in the escape in an assisting role but were not on the list of 200.
    Please feel free to suggest if an individual should be added, removed or moved to another part of the list.
    All comments are very welcome.
    Best wishes
    James

    “The Fifty”
    Those who escaped and were executed by the Gestapo

    Henry ‘Hank’ J Birkland
    E Gordon Brettell
    Lester J. ‘Johnny’ Bull No 1
    Roger Bushell No 4
    Michael J Casey
    James ‘Jimmy’ Catanach
    Arnold G Christensen
    Dennis H Cochran No 16
    Ian K P Cross
    Halldor Espelid
    Brian H Evans
    Nils Fuglesang
    Johannes S. Gouws
    William J Grisman
    Alastair D M Gunn
    Albert H Hake
    Charles P Hall
    Anthony R H ‘Tony’ Hayter
    Edgar S Humphreys
    Gordon A Kidder No 20
    Reginald V Kierath No 32
    Antoni Kiewnarski
    Thomas G Kirby-Green No 21
    Adam Wlodzimierz Kolanowski
    Stanislaw Z. ‘Danny’ Krol
    Patrick W Langford
    Thomas B Leigh
    James L R ‘Cookie’ Long
    Clement A. Neville McGarr
    George E McGill
    Romualdas ‘Rene’ Marcinkus
    Harold J Milford
    Jerzy Tomasc Mondschein
    Kazimierz Pawluk
    Henri A Picard
    Porokoru Patapu ‘Johnny’ Pohe
    Bernard W M Scheidhauer No 5
    Sotoris ‘Nick’ Skanzikas
    Rupert J Stevens
    Robert C. ‘Bob’ Stewart
    John G Stower No 22
    Denys O. Street
    Cyril D Swain
    Pawel 'Peter' Whilem Tobolski
    Arnost ‘Ernie’ Valenta No 3
    Gilbert W ‘Tim’ Walenn
    James C Wernham
    George W Wiley
    John Edwin Ashley Williams No 31
    John F Williams



    “The Three”
    Those who escaped and achieved a Home Run

    Peter Bergsland No 44
    Jens Müller N0 43
    Bram (Bob) Van der Stok No 18



    “The Two Hundred”
    Apart from those already listed, those who were members of the original 200

    Albert Armstrong
    Paddy Barthropp
    Alan Birley Bateman
    R.Anthony (Tony) Bethell No 65 or 66
    Leslie C.J. Brodrick No 52
    William ‘Bill’ J Cameron
    Stanley Carter
    Johnny Crozier No 180
    Harry Melville Arbuthnot ‘Wings’ Day
    Johnny Dodge
    Sydney Dowse
    Freddie Dvorak
    Richard Sidney Albion ‘Dick’ Churchill No 48 or 63
    Bedrich ‘Freddie’ Dvorak
    Bill Fordyce No 86
    Bernard ‘Pop’ Green
    Peter Frank Hall
    John Harris No 179
    Jack Harrison No 96
    Tom Jackson No 139
    Bernard A. (Jimmy) James No 39
    Gordon ‘Gordie’ King No 141
    H W "Piglet" Lamond
    Roy Brouard Langlois
    Jack K. Lyon No 88
    Bob McBride
    Alistair Thompson McDonald
    Henry Cuthbert ‘Johnny’ Marshall
    Denys Maw
    Joe Moul No 82
    Alexander Desmond Neely No 28
    Thomas Robert ‘Bob’ Nelson
    ‘Red’ Noble No 80
    Alfred Keith Ogilvie
    Desmond Lancelot Plunkett No 13
    Douglas Arthur Poynter
    Laurence Reavell-Carter No 75
    Paul G. Royle No 54
    Ken Rees
    Clive K. ‘Sax’ Saxelby No 79 or 82
    Michael Moray ‘Mic’ Shand No 76
    Colin Frank Sorensen No 81
    Alfred B. Thompson
    Ivo P. Tonder
    Len Trent No 79
    Raymond L.N. Van Wymeersch


    “The Purged”
    Those who were involved in the escape but ‘purged’ to other camps

    Peter 'Hornblower' Fanshawe
    Wally Floody
    George Harsh
    Ron Wade
    John Gordon "Scruffy" Weir


    “The Others”
    Those who were involved in the escape but not already listed

    William ‘Tex’ Ash
    Paul Brickhill
    Alan Bryett
    James Brian ‘Jimmy’ Buckley
    DP Crump
    Ray Dennis
    Alfie Fripp
    Harold Ernest Garland
    Tommy Guest
    R. G. ‘Crump’ Ker-Ramsey
    Ken ‘Hawkeye’ Lee
    C.J.Lofthouse
    David Lubbock
    Wally MacCaw
    ‘Digger’ Macintosh
    Jackson Barrett Mahon
    Muckle Muir
    Tim Newman
    Michael Ormond
    Sydney M Pozer
    Jerry Sage
    Arthur Sherwin
    Frank Stone
    DC Torrens
    Johnny Travis
    PPLE Welch
    Geoffrey Willatt
    Charles Alexander Wright
    Axel Zillesen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    James,
    Difficult list to compile. I have been trying to figure out the sequence of the first 80 due to an interest in Colin Frank Sorensen. You have him listed as 81 from which source? I have discussed several possible numbers with his family.

    An addition to the list is Danish Royal Norwegian Air Force pilot Arne Boge (or Bøge in Danish), cf.
    http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/profiles.php?alpha=b&id=19

    According to the family he was among the men in the tunnel at disclosure. I have no other sources confirming it.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    526
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Dear Mikkel
    You have hit the nail on the head. My source for Sorensen being No81 was http://yourlifemoments.ca/sitepages/obituary.asp?oId=392874
    however this is a newspaper and they are notoriously unreliable. However they probably asked his family for information..... but every time a story is retold it changes.
    We may never know the correct numbers, but it is fun trying to work it out.
    I had not heard of Arne Boge before. It is quite possible that he was one of the 200.

    To quote Forum Member 'Dick' on an earlier thread:
    "Hi James
    I don't doubt that such a list was made and used, but from a book, "Escape to Danger" co written by Paul Brickhill and Conrad Norton, published in 1946 with the 2nd half devoted to what we now know as the "Great Escape", it seems that once those inside the camp understood that the plan was in trouble there was extensive, and hurried, destruction of all "incriminating" evidence and plans ,travel docs,forged letters etc went into the nearest available hut fireplace. I don't recall such a list being mentioned specifically but it must have existed to control the exit in good order of those trying to escape. It was possibly longer than 200 names as once the initial choice had been set I believe they had a number of reserves in case of anybody dropping out for any reason. A list seems to be a likely early casualty in the destruction,if only to avoid the knowledge reaching the Germans as to how ambitious the plan was designed to be.
    Regards
    Dick"

    Looking forward to more ideas.
    Best wishes
    James

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Winnipeg Canada
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Great Escape Participants.

    James

    “The Fifty”
    Those who escaped and were executed by the Gestapo

    Henry ‘Hank’ J Birkland
    E Gordon Brettell
    Lester J. ‘Johnny’ Bull No 1
    Roger Bushell No 4
    Michael J Casey
    James ‘Jimmy’ Catanach
    Arnold G Christensen
    Dennis H Cochran No 16
    Ian K P Cross
    Halldor Espelid
    Brian H Evans
    Nils Fuglesang
    Johannes S. Gouws
    William J Grisman
    Alastair D M Gunn
    Albert H Hake
    Charles P Hall
    Anthony R H ‘Tony’ Hayter
    Edgar S Humphreys
    Gordon A Kidder No 20
    Reginald V Kierath No 32
    Antoni Kiewnarski
    Thomas G Kirby-Green No 21
    Adam Wlodzimierz Kolanowski
    Stanislaw Z. ‘Danny’ Krol
    Patrick W Langford
    Thomas B Leigh
    James L R ‘Cookie’ Long
    Clement A. Neville McGarr
    George E McGill
    Romualdas ‘Rene’ Marcinkus
    Harold J Milford
    Jerzy Tomasc Mondschein
    Kazimierz Pawluk
    Henri A Picard
    Porokoru Patapu ‘Johnny’ Pohe
    Bernard W M Scheidhauer No 5
    Sotoris ‘Nick’ Skanzikas
    Rupert J Stevens
    Robert C. ‘Bob’ Stewart
    John G Stower No 22
    Denys O. Street
    Cyril D Swain
    Pawel 'Peter' Whilem Tobolski
    Arnost ‘Ernie’ Valenta No 3
    Gilbert W ‘Tim’ Walenn
    James C Wernham
    George W Wiley
    John Edwin Ashley Williams No 31
    John F Williams



    “The Three”
    Those who escaped and achieved a Home Run

    Peter Bergsland No 44
    Jens Müller N0 43
    Bram (Bob) Van der Stok No 18



    “The Two Hundred”
    Apart from those already listed, those who were members of the original 200

    Albert Armstrong
    Paddy Barthropp
    Alan Birley Bateman
    R.Anthony (Tony) Bethell No 65 or 66
    Leslie C.J. Brodrick No 52
    William ‘Bill’ J Cameron
    Stanley Carter
    Johnny Crozier No 180
    Harry Melville Arbuthnot ‘Wings’ Day
    Johnny Dodge
    Sydney Dowse
    Freddie Dvorak
    Richard Sidney Albion ‘Dick’ Churchill No 48 or 63
    Bedrich ‘Freddie’ Dvorak
    Bill Fordyce No 86
    Bernard ‘Pop’ Green
    Peter Frank Hall
    John Harris No 179
    Jack Harrison No 96
    Tom Jackson No 139
    Bernard A. (Jimmy) James No 39
    Gordon ‘Gordie’ King No 141
    H W "Piglet" Lamond
    Roy Brouard Langlois ( Roy Brouard Langlois No. 60)
    Jack K. Lyon No 88
    Bob McBride
    Alistair Thompson McDonald
    Henry Cuthbert ‘Johnny’ Marshall
    Denys Maw
    Joe Moul No 82
    Alexander Desmond Neely No 28
    Thomas Robert ‘Bob’ Nelson
    ‘Red’ Noble No 80
    Alfred Keith Ogilvie
    Desmond Lancelot Plunkett No 13
    Douglas Arthur Poynter
    Laurence Reavell-Carter No 75
    Paul G. Royle No 54
    Ken Rees
    Clive K. ‘Sax’ Saxelby No 79 or 82
    Michael Moray ‘Mic’ Shand No 76
    Colin Frank Sorensen No 81
    Alfred B. Thompson
    Ivo P. Tonder
    Len Trent No 79
    Raymond L.N. Van Wymeersch


    “The Purged”
    Those who were involved in the escape but ‘purged’ to other camps

    Peter 'Hornblower' Fanshawe
    Wally Floody
    George Harsh
    Ron Wade
    John Gordon "Scruffy" Weir

    Also purged!
    Kingsley Brown
    Zbishek Kustrzynski ( He went in the purge, but I can't tell what he did for the tunnel!).
    Gwyn Martin ( Navigator for Shag Rhys ).
    Robert Stanford Tuck
    Jim Tyrie ( distracting ferrets, Adolph ....... being one).






    “The Others”
    Those who were involved in the escape but not already listed

    William ‘Tex’ Ash
    Paul Brickhill
    Alan Bryett
    James Brian ‘Jimmy’ Buckley
    DP Crump
    Ray Dennis
    Alfie Fripp
    Harold Ernest Garland
    Tommy Guest
    R. G. ‘Crump’ Ker-Ramsey
    Ken ‘Hawkeye’ Lee
    C.J.Lofthouse
    David Lubbock
    Wally MacCaw
    ‘Digger’ Macintosh
    Jackson Barrett Mahon
    Muckle Muir
    Tim Newman
    Michael Ormond
    Sydney M Pozer
    Jerry Sage
    Arthur Sherwin
    Frank Stone
    DC Torrens
    Johnny Travis
    PPLE Welch
    Geoffrey Willatt
    Charles Alexander Wright
    Axel Zillesen

    More Others!
    Ralph Abraham ( manufacture and distribution of clothing ).
    Bacchus Baughan ( Tunnel entrance operator ).
    Guy Griffiths ( ditto.......................................).
    Bill Goldfinch ( ditto......................................).
    Les Harvey ( wood work shop at base of Dick's shaft ).
    Paddy Byrne ( traffic directer on escape night ).
    Norman ( Conk ) Canton ( digger ).
    Alex Cassie ( false papers )
    John Casson


    I am sending this off incomplete as I don't have all my books
    with me!

    OTHERS will be difficult to "prove", or "dis-prove",
    but I expect some corrections!

    Robert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    526
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Dear Robert
    Thank you for your input. There are quite a few extra names there. I completely forgot Gwyn Martin, while Paddy Byrne, Norman Canton, Alex Cassie and John Casson are obvious ommissions. The other names I had not heard of before. Do you have any sources for them?
    I know that some sources are published while others are more word of mouth. We have to be open to all suggestions. Some may be passed down through a family.
    On my master document I am adding all sources for reference purposes.
    Already with your response and that of Mikkel fifteen names have been added to the list. I am sure that more Forum members can come up with a few more.
    Excellent work so far.
    Best wishes
    James



    Also purged!
    Kingsley Brown
    Zbishek Kustrzynski ( He went in the purge, but I can't tell what he did for the tunnel!).
    Gwyn Martin ( Navigator for Shag Rhys ).
    Robert Stanford Tuck
    Jim Tyrie ( distracting ferrets, Adolph ....... being one).



    More Others!
    Ralph Abraham ( manufacture and distribution of clothing ).
    Bacchus Baughan ( Tunnel entrance operator ).
    Guy Griffiths ( ditto.......................................).
    Bill Goldfinch ( ditto......................................).
    Les Harvey ( wood work shop at base of Dick's shaft ).
    Paddy Byrne ( traffic directer on escape night ).
    Norman ( Conk ) Canton ( digger ).
    Alex Cassie ( false papers )
    John Casson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Would it be right to count James Brian ‘Jimmy’ Buckley as taking part in the Great Escape?

    I know he was responsible for the escape organisation before Bushell, but he was transferred to Oflag XXI-B Schubin in late 1943. He escaped from here in company with Danish pilot John Thalbitzer. They reached Denmark, but drowned crossing the waters to Sweden.

    In most accounts, I have read, Bushell is named the mastermind of the plan.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Posts
    3,517
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 14 Times in 13 Posts

    Default

    James,

    I would like to add some bits and pieces for the "Czech" taking part:

    Freddy Dvorak - full name Bedrich Dvorak - as he was traveling with Desmond Lancelot Plunkett No 13 I suppose logically that Dvorak should be No 13 or No 14.

    Henry Cuthbert ‘Johnny’ Marshall was partner of Valneta who is No 3 in your list so if it is correct (I am not able to confirm it) he should be probably No 4?

    According to one Czech article (http://www.historickykaleidoskop.cz/2-3-2009/65.-vyroci-velkeho-uteku-zagan.html) the first six were in this sequence:

    Bull, Marshall, Arnošt Valenta, Bushell, Scheidhauer, Stevens


    Pavel
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 19th February 2013 at 14:45. Reason: additional info
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    526
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Dear Mikkel
    You are right that Buckley was moved at that stage and died while escaping elsewhere. I added him to "the others" list as he would have been at Sagan during the planning and early part of the tunneling and as a major part of the X organisation would have been involved, however he was not on the purge to Schubin and was clearly not one of those on the 200 list. As some of those on "the others" list are stooges and penguins I felt it only fair to add him in the same way I have added those on the Schubin list (I believe there should be 16 of those). "The others" list could potentially run into several hundred, it is more of a place to list people who have a connection but were not in hut 104, ready to go, on the night of the escape.
    You are completely correct in Bushell being the mastermind.
    The more we have conversations like this, the better. More ideas, the better.
    Thank you again.
    James

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    526
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Dear Pavel
    Good to hear from you. Thank you for starting to go to the next logical step of linking known pairs together. This does raise the point of was the number given to an individual the number they entered, or exited the tunnel, taking into consideration the jobs at the various stages within the tunnel itself. This may be where some contradictions may also come up.
    Thank you for the web link, but I am so pleased you summarised it. Being a typical Brit, my language skills are not too good.
    Hopefully the multi national original escapers would appreciate this multinational team trying to solve a little mystery.
    Thank you
    James

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Winnipeg Canada
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    James Castle

    Thank you for your input. There are quite a few extra names there. I completely forgot Gwyn Martin, while Paddy Byrne, Norman Canton, Alex Cassie and John Casson are obvious ommissions. The other names I had not heard of before. Do you have any sources for them?

    The sources that I have used so far are:

    A GALLANT COMPANY by JONATHON F. VANCE
    BONDS OF WIRE by KINGSLEY BROWN
    FLY FOR YOUR LIFE by LARRY FORESTER

    I looked for specific actions such as the "purge"
    and looked in the three books that I had yesterday,
    and was able to add to the list.
    I tried to verify names by using A GALLANT COMPANY.

    More ( I hope and believe ) to come.

    Robert

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •