The letter from the Great Escape hero, a joke about the marriage of a friend at the Stalag Luft POW camp

A light letter written by one of the Great Escapers in captivity in Stalag Luft III came to light 77 years later.

Squadron leader Bertram & # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James was number 39 from the Harry tunnel in the camp of the prisoners of war near Sagan in the province of Lower Silesia, on the night of March 24, 1944.

He was recaptured in an attempt to board a train, but unlike 50 of his fellow refugees, he avoided execution under the command of Hitler.

In the letter of 30 August 1942, he asked the recipient to pass on his congratulations to his friend about his marriage, and then joked that there was no longer any chance that he would have the knot & # 39; in the current circumstances & # 39; would bind.

A light letter written by Great Escaper Bertram & # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James as he came to light in captivity in Stalag Luft III 77 years later. Squadron leader James was number 39 from the Harry tunnel on the night of March 24, 1944. He was recaptured in an attempt to board a train, but unlike 50 of his fellow refugees, he avoided execution under Hitler's orders

A light letter written by Great Escaper Bertram & # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James as he came to light in captivity in Stalag Luft III 77 years later. Squadron leader James was number 39 from the Harry tunnel on the night of March 24, 1944. He was recaptured in an attempt to board a train, but unlike 50 of his fellow refugees, he avoided execution under Hitler's orders

In the letter of August 30, 1942, he asked the recipient to hand over his congratulations to a friend of his marriage, and then there was no chance that he would make the knot & # 39; in the current circumstances & # 39;

In the letter of August 30, 1942, he asked the recipient to hand over his congratulations to a friend of his marriage, and then there was no chance that he would make the knot & # 39; in the current circumstances & # 39;

In the letter of August 30, 1942, he asked the recipient to hand over his congratulations to a friend of his marriage, and then there was no chance that he would make the knot & # 39; in the current circumstances & # 39;

Squadron Leader James also notes that Stalag Luft III quickly filled up with 700 officers and 1,800 sergeants, meaning she & # 39; eight to a room & # 39; goods.

The letter was offered for sale along with photos, notebooks, and post-war correspondence with other Great Escapers from Squadron Leader James's estate.

He also wrote limericks, one of which discusses his capture and frequent escape attempts.

It went: & # 39; There was a young pilot named James

He also wrote limericks, one of which discusses his capture and frequent escape attempts. One went: & # 39; There was a young pilot, James, who was shot in flames over the Netherlands, he had a tunnel vision and decided to leave a camp with underground trains & # 39;

He also wrote limericks, one of which discusses his capture and frequent escape attempts. One went: & # 39; There was a young pilot, James, who was shot in flames over the Netherlands, he had a tunnel vision and decided to leave a camp with underground trains & # 39;

He also wrote limericks, one of which discusses his capture and frequent escape attempts. One went: & # 39; There was a young pilot, James, who was shot in flames over the Netherlands, he had a tunnel vision and decided to leave a camp with underground trains & # 39;

The front of the letter that Squadron Leader James wrote to congratulate his friend on his marraige

The front of the letter that Squadron Leader James wrote to congratulate his friend on his marraige

The front of the letter that Squadron Leader James wrote to congratulate his friend on his marraige

& # 39; Who in the Netherlands was shot in the flames

& # 39; He had a tunnel vision

& # 39; And made a decision

& # 39; Leave camp by metro. & # 39;

Squadron Leader James, born in India but raised in Canterbury, Kent, was in a Wellington bomber that was shot down over the Netherlands on June 5, 1940.

Squadron Leader James wrote a report of his escape from Stalag Luft III 60 years after the daring performance

Squadron Leader James wrote a report of his escape from Stalag Luft III 60 years after the daring performance

Squadron Leader James wrote a report of his escape from Stalag Luft III 60 years after the daring performance

He spent 21 months in Stalag I in Barth in northern Germany before moving to Stalag Luft III in April 1942.

To flee, Squadron Leader James and his partner Pilot Officer Sotirios (Nick) Skantzikas disguised themselves as Yugoslav workers trying to get home.

After walking a treacherous night through deep snow, they found their way to Hirschberg West station where they were arrested and taken to the Gestapo headquarters in town.

Squadron leader Bertram & # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James died at the age of 92 in 2008. After the war, Squadron Leader James took off in the RAF and then joined the diplomatic service

Squadron leader Bertram & # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James died at the age of 92 in 2008. After the war, Squadron Leader James took off in the RAF and then joined the diplomatic service

Squadron leader Bertram & # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James died at the age of 92 in 2008. After the war, Squadron Leader James took off in the RAF and then joined the diplomatic service

Squadron commander James was moved to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in West Germany, but his desire for freedom had not decreased.

On 23 September 1944 he escaped with four other men after using small cutlery knives to dig an escape tunnel of more than 110 meters long.

They were on the run for a few weeks before they were arrested and returned to solitary confinement in the camp.

After the war, Squadron Leader James took the ranks in the RAF and then became a member of the diplomatic service.

He died at the age of 92 in 2008.

The archive is sold by International Autograph Auctions, from Nottingham.

The letter is estimated at £ 300, with the total collection expected to raise £ 5,000.

Richard Davie, auctioneer at International Autograph Auctions, said: & # 39; The letter comes from the estate of & # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James who died in 2008.

& # 39; We believe the recipient, a Miss Helen Morrell, was a friend of the family and it was written a few months after he was put in Stalag Luft III.

& # 39; It is very rare to have correspondence from one of the Great Escapers written from Stalag Luft III.

& # 39; Jimmy & # 39; James was the 39th person to come out of the tunnel named Harry, and unlike 50 other escapes executed on Hitler's order, he survived.

& # 39; He had moved to another camp, but that was his fighting spirit that he was trying to escape. & # 39;

The sale takes place tomorrow.

Deadly toll of escaped executions … and how WWII & # 39; s greatest PoW story got a Hollywood makeover

In the spring of 1943, RAF squadron leader Roger Bushell devised a plan for a major escape from Stalag's German Luft III camp near Sagan, now Żagań in Poland.

With the escape planned for the night of March 24, 1944, the PoWs built three 30ft deep tunnels, named Tom, Dick and Harry, so that if someone were discovered by the German guards, they would not suspect that work was still in progress. .

Bushell was planning to get more than 200 people through the tunnels, each with civilian clothes and a complete range of counterfeit papers and flight equipment.

In the spring of 1943, RAF squadron leader Roger Bushell devised a plan for a major escape from Stalag's German Luft III camp near Sagan, now Żagań in Poland

In the spring of 1943, RAF squadron leader Roger Bushell devised a plan for a major escape from Stalag's German Luft III camp near Sagan, now Żagań in Poland

In the spring of 1943, RAF squadron leader Roger Bushell devised a plan for a major escape from Stalag's German Luft III camp near Sagan, now Żagań in Poland

To hide the earth that was dug out of the tunnels, the prisoners tied the bags of sand in their pants so that they scattered while walking around.

The prisoners wore greatcoats to hide the bulges made by the sand and became & # 39; penguins & # 39; because of their supposed resemblance to the animal.

When the attempt began, it was discovered that Harry had fallen short and instead of reaching into a nearby forest, the first man just emerged from the tree line, close to a watchtower.

Plans for one man to leave every minute were reduced to 10 per hour.

The Great Escape played Steve McQueen (pictured above) as Captain Virgil Hilts

The Great Escape played Steve McQueen (pictured above) as Captain Virgil Hilts

The Great Escape played Steve McQueen (pictured above) as Captain Virgil Hilts

In total, 76 men crawled through to first freedom, but the 77th was noticed by a guard. In the hunt for the entrance, a guard, Charlie Pilz, crawled through the tunnel, but after getting stuck on the other side, he called for help.

The prisoners opened the entrance and revealed the location.

Of the refugees, three took security, 73 were taken prisoner and 50 of them were executed.

… and the Hollywood movie

The 1963 movie The Great Escape was based on real events, and while some characters were fictional, many were based on real people or amalgams from different stakeholders.

The film played Steve McQueen as Captain Virgil Hilts, James Garner as Flight Lieutenant Robert Hendley and Richard Attenborough as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett and was based on a book of the same name by Paul Brickhill.

Unlike the film, there were no US PoW & # 39; s involved in the escape attempt and there were no escapes by motorcycle or plane.

Hilts & # 39; dashboard for the border by motorcycle was added at the request of McQueen, who did the stunt that ridden itself except for the final jump.