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From the Great Escape to Colditz

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posted on 2024-06-05, 16:57 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Hugh (Hubert) Henderson was on my father's side - I met him when I was very young. He used to bounce me on his knee. Hugh joined the army in 1939 and then transferred to the RAF as a pilot. He was flying a Wellington and was shot down on his first mission on 8 November 1941 (I think, over France). He was captured by the Germans and sent to Stalag Luft 111. He reportedly escaped with an Eastern European and headed towards Russia. He was recaptured and treated badly by the Gestapo, before being sent to Stalag Luft 14 - famous for the Great Escape.

He was in the Great Escape but the Germans discovered the tunnel before he got through. I have a photo of him on the left at Stalag Luft 14. I have an ID card as well. His best friend, Sandy Gunn, in the camp, managed to escape but was then executed when captured. After the Great Escape, Hugh was sent to Colditz, where he remained until the end of the war. He was one of the few who managed to survive. I'm not sure how much information is available on his time in those camps.

History

Item list and details

Research carried out by family, photos of Hugh, and photos relating to time in StalagLuft 14

Person the story/items relate to

Hugh (Hubert) Howard Henderson

Person who shared the story/items

Anthony Henderson

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Father's relation

Type of submission

Shared at Great Missenden Library, Buckinghamshire on 30 September 2023.

Record ID

95096 | GRE012C