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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Heart of Europe

    'The Great Escape' pilot dies age 101 in Perth, Australia

    One of the last surviving heroes depicted in the Steve McQueen film 'The Great Escape', has died aged 101 in Perth, Australia, following surgery for a hip fracture.

    Pilot Paul Royle, although Australia-born, was captured while serving in the British Royal Air Force in 1940, when his plane was shot down over France. He 'intensely disliked' the 1963 movie though, for its inaccurate depiction of motorbikes and American prisoners as he said neither were present during the mass escape from Allied officers' POW camp Stalag Luft III in Poland, in 1944. He also felt it failed to portray the terror the 76 men had felt. Only two Norwegians and a Dane made it to safety. 73 men were quickly recaptured and 50 of them were executed by shooting. Paul survived but then wasn't released until the end of the war in 1945.

    The death of Paul Royle leaves only one survivor; the aptly-named Dick Churchill, a 94-year-old British man who lives in Devon. He is reported to be 'sad but stoic' at the news.

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