THE WOODEN HORSE - Original Pencil Drawings
THE WOODEN HORSE
– ESCAPE FROM STALAG LUFT III –
A pair of original drawings commemorating the 80th Anniversary of this daring escape!
It was notoriously difficult to escape from Stalag Luft III, the Luftwaffe-run prison camp in Lower Silesia built to hold captured Allied airmen. Constructed on sandy soil, with a perimeter fence erected some distance from the prisoners’ huts and with seismographs installed to pick up underground vibrations, the Germans thought any attempt to dig an escape tunnel would be detected. How wrong they were – Stalag Luft III would become famous for some of the most audacious escapes of World War II.
The first of these, in October 1943, was ‘The Wooden Horse’ and to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of this daring event artist Richard Taylor has crafted a pair of original pencil drawings portraying some of the dramatic incidents from a plan that was as bold as it was ingenious. Every day a gymnastic vaulting horse, constructed from plywood Red Cross boxes, was carried into the open close to the perimeter wire for ‘exercise classes’. Concealed inside, however, was one, sometimes two men who began to dig down and as they dug any noise they made was masked by a queue of ‘gymnasts’ running up to vault the horse. After each session the diggers, along with the excavated wet sand, were carried back to the huts where the sand was dried in the camp kitchen before being dispersed.
On 29 October 1943 the tunnel was finished. Hidden inside the horse the three escapees – F/Lt. Eric Williams, Lt. Michael Cordner and F/Lt. Oliver Philpot – made their getaway. Travelling by train north to the Baltic, Williams and Cordner reached Stettin whilst Philpot got to Danzig with all three successfully stowing away on boats for neutral Sweden and eventual repatriation to Britain.
Both of Richard’s original pencil drawings have been framed to full conservation standards in a single composition that incorporates an extremely RARE First Day Postal Cover personally signed by one of the Wooden Horse escapees, the late Oliver Philpot.
- Flight Lieutenant Oliver Philpot MC, DFC
- Original Pencil
- 20.5 x 29.5 inches
- Release Date:
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