A WORLD War Two veteran who was part of the ‘Great Escape’ from a prisoner of war camp, joined students at Chesterfield College to talk about his role in the famous plot.
Frank Stone, 89, of Hathersage, gave a presentation to hundreds of students from the college’s Sport and Public Services directorate about the escape, which was made famous by the 1963 Steve McQueen film.
During his talk, he passed around actual objects used in the plot, including a compass fashioned from melted vinyl records and the fine sand that was removed from the tunnels dug by the prisoners of war based at German camp Sagan Stalagluft III.
Speaking after the presentation, Frank said: “It’s important to pass on my experiences to the younger generation so they know exactly what happened at camps such as Stalagluft lll.
“The Great Escape movie has obviously helped to raise awareness of what happened and is actually pretty accurate in how it portrays the escape as survivors from the camp were consulted throughout the film’s production. The fantasy starts when they actually break out of the camp as in reality there weren’t any motorcycle stunts!”
Frank arrived at the camp after he was shot down on his second bombing mission in 1940, aged 18 and was billeted in a hut from which one of the three tunnels – Tom, Dick and Harry – were dug from. He has spent the past thirty years sharing his experiences of the camp and his part in the greatest escape story of the Second World War.
Tim Binns, curriculum manager for public services at the college, said: “Frank’s talks were amazing. The students were completely gobsmacked by the remarkable achievements made at Stalagluft lll against all the odds. A lot of our students were delighted to have the opportunity to meet Frank in person and they have taken away so much from the presentation that they can use within their college work and life in general. We’re very grateful to Frank for taking the time to visit us.”
HELLO I HAVE DONE THIS AS LEAD LENGTH BUT CAN CHOP IT FOR PICCAP IF NEEDED!