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7th Jul, 2022

Militaria expert hoping for another big Great Escape-like find

Ian Hughes 16th Mar, 2019

MILITARIA expert Adrian Stevenson will be hoping for another big discovery at the next Hanson’s valuation day near Stratford.

Adrian will be at The Malt House in Alveston, along with other experts, on Friday March 29, from 1pm to 4pm,

A recent find by Adrian has been making headlines around the world this month. He uncovered a wartime journal by former Flt Lt Viv Phillips – a Welshman who took part in the real Great Escape. The 1963 Hollywood movie of the same name, starring Steve McQueen, was based on the true story.

The former RAF airman was placed in the Stalag-Luft III prisoner of war camp after his plane was shot down by the Nazis during the Second World War. While there, he played his part in a major escape plan which led to a mass break-out of Allied POWs on in March 1944.

Adrian said: “The diary is believed to be the only one of its kind to survive not only the rigours of the POW camp but also a forced march of hundreds of miles across Germany at the latter stages of the war. It describes life in the camp though words and drawings of those interned there.

“As such it provides a unique insight into how the POWs passed their time and in particular the humour that kept their spirits going. The blank diaries were distributed by the Canadian Red Cross as a means of occupying the minds of the POWs.”

The journal, along with Mr Phillips Distinguished Service Order medal and other war memorabilia, is due to be sold at Hansons’ militaria auction on March 22 with an estimate of £15,000 to £18,000 – just before the 75th anniversary of the real great escape.

Adrian added: “Finds like this capture everyone’s imagination but I love all kinds of discoveries, big and small. There is major demand for wartime memorabilia and we sell everything from badges, medals and swords to historical photo albums, flags and period posters.”

People are welcome to bring militaria and general items to the free valuation day in Alveston.

Visit hansonsauctioneers.co.uk for further details.

 

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