Stalag Luft III - 'The Wooden Horse'

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by DemonDan, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. DemonDan

    DemonDan Junior Member


    I am a writer, and am currently working on a project about the lives of many of the RAF personnel that were imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, both during and after their incarceration.

    I am anxious to trace the relatives of Flt. Lt. Eric Williams (d.1983) and Flt. Lt. Oliver Philpott (d.2008), and hope someone on this site may be able to help me. Messrs. Williams and Philpott were, of course, involved in the legendary 'Wooden Horse' escape from the East Compound of Stalag Luft III in 1943.

    Any advice or information anyone can provide me with would be extremely appreciated. I will be posting further details of my project in the near future, which I hope some people may feel is interesting enough to get involved with.

    Kind regards,

  2. Pike

    Pike Senior Member

    Good luck with this venture,although i don't feel i'll be of any help,i'll be watching with interest.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Danand welcome to the forum.

    Goodluck with your project and if all else fails you could try the national census for relatives?

  4. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    Oliver Philpot (only one t) died in 1993, according to his Daily Telegraph obituary. He left a son and 2 daughters by his first marriage, which ended in 1951, and a son and a daughter by his second, to Rosl Widhalm in 1954. The website doesn't seem to have obituaries as far back as 1983.

    Oliver Philpot - Telegraph

    Have you tried the Imperial War Museum? It currently has an exhibition about WWII escapes, including the Wooden Horse.

    Great Escapes

    Both men's books should still be in copyright and The Wooden Horse at least might still be in print. The publishers would then have to be in contact with Williams's heirs in order to send them royalty payments. They might also be entitled to fees when the film is shown on TV, since he wrote the screenplay.
  5. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    I have a copy of the Wooden Horse that I picked up for 50p at a book sale.

    Haven't read it yet but I can send you it if you want. PM me if you want it.
  6. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Daniel, just sent you a PM on tracking down next of kin.


  7. B@W

    B@W Junior Member

    Daniel, Look out for the January issue of Britain At War Magazine, out on the 4th January - there will be an article about Stalag Luft III which might be of interest to you.

  8. MJB

    MJB Junior Member

    I have just joined the Forum. I was in touch with both Oliver Philpot and his son a few years back, if you are still interested I could sort out the address of the family home at that time.

  9. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Saw a nice exhibit at IWM North today. Oliver Philpott's compass and tie he made as part of his escape kit. Interesting how he hid his tags behind the photo of his wife so he wouldn't be shot as a spy if captured.

    ritsonvaljos and CL1 like this.
  10. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Oliver Philpot's story is available from abebooks "Stolen Journey"
  11. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Did anything ever come of the original request?

    The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre (at the former RAF East Kirkby) might have the details. They have a model vaulting horse (half the size of the original) on display [see attachment].

    Attached Files:

  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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