'I couldn't stop turning the pages ... a great tale - with a deep message' - George Robertson'A dashed good read. Especially as his escape was successful' --Jack McLean, The Herald
I couldn’t stop turning the pages
a great tale with a deep message’ George Robertson a thrilling escapade’ Bournemouth Echo At the age of nineteen, Glasgow-born John McCallum signed up as a Supplementary Reservist in the Signal Corps. A little over a year later, he was in France, working frantically to set up communication lines as Europe once more hurtled towards war. Wounded and captured at Boulogne, he was sent to the notorious Stalag VIIIB prison camp, together with his brother, Jimmy, and friend Joe Harkin. Ingenious and resourceful, the three men set about planning their escape. With the help of Traudl, a local girl, they put their plan into action. In an astonishing coincidence, they passed through the town of Sagan, around which the seventy-six airmen of the Great Escape were being pursued and caught. However, unlike most of these other escapees, John, Jimmy and Joe eventually made it to freedom. Now, due to the declassification of documents under the Official Secrets Act, John McCallum is finally able to tell the thrilling story of his adventure, in which he recaptures all the danger, audacity and romance of one of the most daring escapes of the Second World War.
About the Author
John McCallum was born in Glasgow in 1917, and was brought up there and in Oban. He left school aged 14 to work as a Boy Messenger in the Post Office. Aged 18, he transferred to its Engineering Department as a trainee and spent two years on external telephone work, later being transferred to indoor work on switchboards. He joined the Supplementary Reserves in the Royal Signal Corps in 1935, where his step-brother Jimmy O'Neill was already enlisted. He died in 2011. The Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen (George Robertson) was elected to the House of Commons in 1978. He was appointed Defence Secretary in 1997 and was Secretary General of NATO from 1999 to 2003. Trevor Royle is a broadcaster and author specialising in the history of war and empire. He is Associate Editor of the 'Sunday Herald' and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Trevor's books include 'The Flowers of the Forest: Scotland and the First World War' and 'A Time of Tyrants: Scotland and the Second World War'.