English | 2018 | ePUB | 2.8 MB
Horace ‘Jim’ Greasley was 20 years old in the spring of 1939 when Adolf Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and latterly Poland. There had been whispers and murmurs of discontent from certain quarters and the British government began to prepare for the inevitable war. After seven weeks training with the 2nd/5th Battalion Leicester, he found himself facing the might of the German army in a muddy field south of Cherbourg, in Northern France, with just thirty rounds of ammunition in his weapon pouch.
Horace’s war didn’t last long. He was taken prisoner on 25th May 1940 and forced to endure a ten week march across France and Belgium en-route to Holland. Horace survived…barely…
Many of his fellow comrades were not so fortunate. Falling by the side of the road through sheer exhaustion and malnourishment meant a bullet through the back of the head and the corpse left to rot. After a three day train journey without food and water, Horace found himself incarcerated in a prison camp in Poland. It was there he embarked on an incredible love affair with a German girl interpreting for his captors. He experienced the sweet taste of freedom each time he escaped to see her, yet incredibly he made his way back into the camp each time—sometimes two or three times a week. He broke out of the camp more than 200 times, often bringing food back to his fellow prisoners to supplement their meager rations, and toward the end of the war even managed to bring radio parts back in, allowing the BBC news to be delivered daily to more than 3,000 prisoners