Alexander Kerr - Escape and capture

Running time
3 min 21 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


On one occasion we jumped on a train and it didn't stop until too late.

We had to rely upon the train being on a slope to slow it down enough for us to jump off. We didn't want to break a leg or anything. On this occasion it was almost daylight before we could jump off the train.

So anyhow we then looked around and there weren't any really good hiding places and we eventually had to settle for a big sort of hole in a, you know, a big farm there and there were aircraft going everywhere.

We didn't realise they were still looking for us.

Anyhow I had decided that if we were caught we were going to pretend we were Frenchmen because at that stage after the 1000 plane raid on Cologne, German civilians were lynching pilots or aircrew that parachuted down into the wreckage of the city. So we said we were going to be French and this farmer turned up with a shotgun and he said 'Okay, out you come.'

I spoke French and nobody else said anything and I told him we were escaped French prisoners and he said 'Okay.'

March off and he marched us with his shotgun and what I didn't know and this was the luck again that we had, the night before some French soldiers had escaped from a stalag for French prisoners and it was only about a kilometre or two from where we were caught, so you know, obviously when I said we were escaped French prisoners, this fellow, this German, accepted that straight away.

We had said we would maintain that we were French right up until we were in official German hands so he took us to this French stalag and as soon as they took charge of us I tried to explain where we were from and he said 'We already know where you're from. There are posters all over Germany in the police stations giving your names and descriptions so I'll send you right back there now.' So that's what he did and that's when we found the Gestapo back home.

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