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Bernhard H.Holst

Paul Royle, Australian survivor "Great Escape, died at 101

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Hello readers.

The Washington Post reported today that former RAF Flight Lt. Paul Royle from Australia , a survivor of the Great Escape died August 23 in Perth, Australia where he lived in retirement since the 1980's. He died of complications from surgery on a hip fracture. He worked  in mining and engineering over the world following his liberation in May 1945.

Mr Royle was a pilot in the RAF when he was shot down in May of 1940. His role in the Great Escape was the hauling away of the dirt excavated while digging the tunnel and disposing of it properly. He was recaptured after two days. As is known fifty recaptured prisoners were cowardly shot. Only three made it to freedom of the 76 escapees. The article states that only one other survivor is still alive, former British Squadron Leader Dick Churchill, 94 years of age.

I am unable to link to the article but one should be able to find it easy enough.

Bernhard H. Holst

 

Edited by Bernhard H.Holst

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I gather from something I read that he didn't talk about it much but that, when he did, he was quite offended by Steve McQueen and the motorcycle.  Not impressed, like so many of us, by the liberties Hollywoood takes with history in pursuit of a 'better' story!

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I gather from something I read that he didn't talk about it much but that, when he did, he was quite offended by Steve McQueen and the motorcycle.  Not impressed, like so many of us, by the liberties Hollywoood takes with history in pursuit of a 'better' story!

Hello Peter.

The article did mention that but I did not want to include that in my post. I believe it is generally known how Hollywood uses and abuses artistic license and military consultants appear oftentimes to  not know or are overruled.

BTW: I have stayed away from Hollywood war products regardless of ratings because of inherent distrust of their history related films.

Bernhard H. Holst

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Bernhard

I have had the dubious privilige of working on several 'historical' fims over the last decade or so, several for PBS and similar nteworks, a couple for the broader commercial market and a number for in-house use by historical sites.  As I point out to others involved, except in the last category, the fim makers are not selling history, they are selling popcorn!  These days it is considered desireable to have an 'hsitorical consultant' even on such fantasies as the Pirates of the Caribbean series.  In fact, that consultant is a good fried.  That said, the producers want to have hired a consukltant, not necessarily to have consuled same, and money, story line or the idosyncracies of the director almost always trump historical accuracy.  Its the world we live in, I'm afraid: experts and connoisieurs are doomed to disappoinment. I see a lot of Hollywood films with my best mate, who is in the business, and we either shrug, roll our eyes or grit our teeth, then leave the theatre and have a cleanisng pint. To do otherwise is to court madness!

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