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Residents attend The Great Escape exhibition in Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 March 2019

Rainham historian Richard C Smith with his wife and fellow local historian Kim Smith. The couple are holding a signed photo from the 1963 movie, The Great Escape. Photo: Andrew Ruff

Rainham historian Richard C Smith with his wife and fellow local historian Kim Smith. The couple are holding a signed photo from the 1963 movie, The Great Escape. Photo: Andrew Ruff

Andrew Ruff

Residents turned out at the weekend to have a look around a special exhibition in Hornchurch commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Second World War’s famous great escape breakout.

Residents enjoyed having a look around the exhibition at Ingrebourne Valley Visitors Centre, that told the story of the daring escape from Stalag Luft III on March 24, 1944. Photo: Andrew RuffResidents enjoyed having a look around the exhibition at Ingrebourne Valley Visitors Centre, that told the story of the daring escape from Stalag Luft III on March 24, 1944. Photo: Andrew Ruff

The exhibition held at the Ingrebourne Valley Visitors Centre told the story of the daring escape from Stalag Luft III on March 24, 1944, and also featured signed film posters, programmes, original film soundtrack LPs and singles, and stills from the classic 1963 movie starring Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner and Charles Bronson.

Rainham historian Richard C. Smith told the Recorder: “The exhibition was very well attended by the public throughout the day; who showed great interest in the displays we had set out.

There were a number of items on display including signed film posters, programmes, original motion film soundtrack LPs and singles, and movie stills from the classic 1963 film starring Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner and Charles Bronson. Photo: Andrew RuffThere were a number of items on display including signed film posters, programmes, original motion film soundtrack LPs and singles, and movie stills from the classic 1963 film starring Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner and Charles Bronson. Photo: Andrew Ruff

“These included original items from some of the Prisoners of War who had been involved in the escape from Stalag Luft III on 24th March 1944, including the connection with RAF pilots from Hornchurch.

“One of the most looked pieces was the personal items of Flight Lieutenant Keith Ogilive, who was one of the last escapees out of the tunnel before the Germans discovered the breakout.

Rainham historian Richard C Smith with his wife and fellow local historian Kim Smith at the exhibition at the weekend. Photo: Andrew RuffRainham historian Richard C Smith with his wife and fellow local historian Kim Smith at the exhibition at the weekend. Photo: Andrew Ruff

“Members of the public also viewed two documentaries during the day, one telling the story of the escape, the other the making of the film.

“It was a fantastic day with some people travelling from far afield including Brighton. A thank you also goes out to the staff at the centre for all their help with this event.”


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