100,000 PoW records released online



2015-06-26 11:37:37

100,000 PoW records released online

The records of WWII prisoners including royalty and a James Bond actor are now accessible on a website

Whilst James Bond's Q might perhaps have found some ingenious way out, the actor who played him, Lieutenant Desmond Wilkinson Llewellyn had a miserable time in WWII, spending almost all of it in a German PoW camp after capture in France in 1940.

Llewellyn, who hated gadgets in real life, was serving with the Royal Welch Fusiliers at the time. He had also had the misfortune to be born in the opening months of WWI.

His is just one of a vast number of PoW records released today on http://ancestry.co.uk/. Others include the then seventh in line to the throne Viscount Harewood, who was captured in 1944 aged just 21 and held at Colditz. He returned to England and inherited his Earldom in 1947.

Other famous WWII PoWs included Airey Neave, who managed to escape in disguise from Colditz in 1942. He was the first British officer to successfully make a 'home-run' from Colditz and went on to work for the intelligence services, and as MP for Abingdon. He was awarded both a Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order for his service.

He was perhaps better prepared than most for the experience, having seen a little of the Nazi rise to power first hand in Germany, and written a prize-winning essay on the probable consequences of Hitler's rise to power and war in 1933 whilst still at school.

Sadly, despite his guile and foresight, he was killed by a bomb blast in 1979, apparently assassinated bythe Irish National Liberation Army.

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