Videos posted by Martyn Cox
During WW2 Elizabeth Ward was a member of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) working for SOE. By September 1944 she was stationed in Bari, Italy but a back injury meant she'd have to return to Britain sooner than expected. But her back was not so bad that before sailing on a hospital ship Elizabeth was able to take some leave. She wanted to visit Rome, which had only recently been liberated, and managed to get a place on a large American airforce plane that was about to fly there. But Elizabeth had no idea she'd be asked to help fly it! Elizabeth describes one unforgettable view from the aircraft - the sight down below of the devastating aftermath of the Battle of Monte Cassino. Info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monte_Cassino
On 8th December 1942 Stan Hope was the navigator/camera operator in an RAF Mosquito on a photo reconnaissance mission to Austria. When the aircraft developed a fault the pilot decided they could not reach Britain and so he and Stan would both have to bail out and the plane would be set to crash. They were over German occupied Belgium, and Stan landed by parachute in the countryside. He had visited its capital Brussels before the war, and even spoke a little French, and so he headed for this city in the hope that he'd find safe refuge there from the occupying German troops. He would then try to reach 'neutral' Spain via occupied France. While in Brussels he enjoyed a surprisingly sociable time over Xmas, thanks to the kindness, hospitality and courage of the Belgian family which hid him. But, as we'll hear in Part 2, the New Year would bring tragic consequences for them and also Stan. For more information on the WW2 escape lines: www.ww2escapelines.co.uk
On 8th December 1942 Stan Hope had parachuted from his stricken RAF Mosquito over German occupied Belgium. After landing in the Belgian countryside he'd made his way to Brussels and found refuge with a family who had bravely offered to hide him there until contact could be made with an organised escape line. This would later be known as the Comète Line, and had been founded by the courageous Belgian woman Andrée de Jongh - aka "Dedée". Stan would enjoy a good time in Brussels over Xmas 1942, but far more dramatic and tragic events were soon to come during his attempt to cross France via Paris to reach the Pyrenees and then 'neutral' Spain. This clandestine journey was made along with other RAF evaders, with the help of Comète Line couriers plus Dedée herself.
During the Second World War Patience Maxwell was a driver in the Women's Transport Service (FANY). In this section of a much longer recording she describes driving for the Army Blood Transfusion Service as part of a team working in the West Country collecting blood from volunteer civilians. Earlier in WW2 Patience had driven a lorry for an army bomb disposal unit in Bristol and, aged 23, received a commendation for bravery after driving three unexploded German bombs out of the city so they could be safely blown up.
Included in these third and final excerpts of the first-hand accounts by RAF 'evaders' Bob Frost and Stan Hope we also hear from Andrée Dumon - codenamed "Nadine". After the war she received the OBE for her work as a Comète escape line courier, and they all talk about another brave young Belgian woman, Andrée de Jongh, known as Dédée, who founded the Comète escape line with her father. For more information on this subject go to: www.escapelines.com AND www.belgiumww2.info