Howard Pearce 1919-2009

My Grandfather approached life with humility, humour and inquisitiveness. The only survivor of his Wellington Bomber, he was shot down over Bremen in World War 2, marched to Poland and made a Prisoner Of War in Stalug Luft 3- the setting for "The Great Escape". Dressed as a German decorator, with impeccable forged passport and attire, he was discovered in the Tunnel "Harry" on that fateful night in March,1944. His name was amongst the 150 names placed into a hat. 50 were chosen and brutally shot dead on Hitler's orders. Returning home after the War he married Phyllis Pearce-their marriage lasting 63 years.

With a voracious appetite for History and Literature, My Grandfather was an endless source of fascination for me as I grew up. I compared him to the comic book heroes I read about in "Victor" and "Hotspur" as a little boy. Because my Dad had left home when I was 2 and my brother 4-Granddad became our father, and there was no finer as far as we were concerned. His bravery and memory will live long in our hearts.