Issue Date: 24/03/2019
Issue Name: 75th Anniversary of the Great Escape
Producer: Buckingham Covers
On Friday 24th March 1944 a daring attempt to free 200 Prisoners of War was made at Stalag Luft III in Poland. The plan had been masterminded by Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Roger Bushell and was unprececented in size. In all 76 men made it through the escape tunnel before the attempt was discovered. The escape has been the subject of several books and was imortalised in the 1963 film The Great Escape.
Our cover commemorates the event and pays homage to the men that lost their lives. Featuring an image of the memorial stones at the war museum in Poland that mark the route of the tunnel, and a wonderful illustration from the war diary of one of the camp's prisoners.This is a great tribute. A single barbed wire poppy stamp is cancelled at Bushell Green (named in honour of Roger Bushell).
The Great Escape
The Harry tunnel was completed in 1944 and on Friday 24th March they began their escape. In all 76 men made it through the tunnel, but it was discovered as the escape was in progress. 73 of those who made it through were recaptured, 50 being executed on Hitler’s orders. Roger Bushell was shot by a Gestapo official just outside Saarbrücken, Germany. Seventeen were returned to Stalag Luft III, two were sent to Colditz Castle, and four were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
The site of Stalag Luft III is now a museum and the route of the tunnel (depicted on the front of the cover) is marked with memorial stones.