The Great Escape to be fêted Sunday in the Beach
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Apr 03, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

The Great Escape to be fêted Sunday in the Beach

Beach Mirror

A day dedicated to honouring the 70th anniversary of The Great Escape, a real-life story about a group of 80 Commonwealth airmen who, during the Second World War, escaped from a German prisoner of war camp, is set to take place Sunday, April 6.

The festivities, which will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen St. E., will include a screening of the 1963 Hollywood film, The Great Escape, which was inspired by the 1950 book of the same name by author Paul Brickhill.

Well-known Canadian historian and author, Ted Bariss, has recently penned a new book on the topic called The Great Escape: A Canadian Story. Barris will attend the April 6 event and give a presentation before the film screening.

The Great Escape is of local interest as late Beach resident Wally Floody, also known as “The Tunnel King”, was the key player in the March 1944 breakout from the Stalag Luft III prison camp in Poland.

Floody lived in the community with his family and once owned The Grover Pub at 675 Kingston Rd. at Main Street. His family continues to live in the Beach. Coincidentally, Bruce and Marg Ewing, the founders of The Great Escape Book Store on Kingston Road, named their business after the historic event not knowing Floody’s family lived just steps away.

The Ewings as well as The Floodys are both expected to attend Sunday’s event, which is sponsored by The Great Escape Bookstore and Dundurn Press.

Admission is $5 or free with the purchase of Barris’ book at the event or leading up to the event. The Great Escape: A Canadian Story is available for purchasing at The Great Escape Book Store, 957 Kingston Rd. at Scarborough Road.

Call Katya Nosko at 416-691-7150 details.

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(1) Comment

By Yvonne | APRIL 05, 2014 12:10 PM
In the interest of accuracy in both history and geography, it should be clarified that Stalag Luft III, though in present-day Poland, was located in Germany during World War Two. The POWs included Polish airmen serving with the RAF. Some were in the group that escaped and were, sadly, among the fifty who were recaptured and shot in cold blood by the Gestapo.
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