CLEEVES Palmer, a director at Palmers Brewery in Bridport, has presented a copy of his own book to the last remaining survivor of the real Great Escape, Alan Bryett, who lives in Lyme Regis.
Mr Palmer’s book, ‘Going Downhill Fast’, tells stories from his career as an amateur ski racer, and one of the skiers featured in it, Roger Bushell, was involved in the Great Escape during the Second World War alongside Mr Bryett, who now lives at Fairfield House in Lyme Regis.
RAF Flight Lieutenant Mr Bryett was one of many who attempted to flee Nazi camp Stalag Luft III in 1944 – the inspiration for the 1963 Hollywood film starring Steve McQueen.
Having helped to dispose of mud and sand as the escape tunnels were being dug, he was waiting in line to flee before the breakout was foiled.
Squadron Leader Roger Bushell was considered the mastermind behind the Great Escape and was played by Richard Attenborough in the film.
He made it out of the tunnels but was one of the 50 to be recaptured and executed.
Mr Bryett accepted a signed copy of Mr Palmer’s book on behalf of his late comrade.
The presentation was also attended by chairman of the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion, Ian Marshall.