Spring Auction 2019 Sale 75
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2019
(1915 – 2008) British survivor of "The Great Escape". James was a Royal Air Force officer and second pilot of a Wellington bomber when he was shot down over the Netherlands on 5 June 1940 and taken prisoner. Within a matter of days at Stalag Luft I, James and W/Cdr John "Death" Shore were planning an escape. Digging a highly audacious tunnel, Shore managed to clear the wire and escape, while James was caught in the act and sent directly to the cooler. Over the next five years, he made 13 efforts to escape from various prisons and camps, including Stalag Luft III, the site in March 1944 of the "Great Escape". A central figure in that event, James, together with Peter Fanshawe, was largely responsible for depositing the soil from Tunnel Harry under seat 13 in the camp theater. Following their escape, James and his partner were recaptured while buying train tickets. His partner was later executed by the Gestapo. Spared the execution that fifty others suffered, James was sent instead to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp from which he also escaped using small cutlery to dig an escape tunnel over 110 meters long. On the run for several weeks, he was finally arrested and sent through several other camps before being liberated in May, 1945. Important signed book from his imprisonment at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, James' handwritten "Russian Vocabulary" notebook. The cover bears his name "James" and the date he presumably started it, "26/5/44" Approx. 38 of the 60 or so lined 8vo. pages bear entries, the Russian words written in Cyrillic with English translations alongside, in alphabetical order. The book contains prison camp essentials: "hell...long whip...home made wine...challenge...innocent...amusing talker...'jerry'...water in soup...confession...fine ash...morgue...bloody...groan...spade...big glass of vodka...", and much more. The pencil entries on the cover contrast poorly but are entirely legible, the cover bearing a split about 2" along the spine, contents very good. At Sachsenhausen, James was held in a special wing holding high-profile or valuable prisoners, including the son of Josef Stalin.
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $492.00
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items