Australian survivor of WWII ‘Great Escape’ dies aged 101

Gordon Royle, one of 76 men to escape from a German POW camp in 1944. (Courtesy: The Guardian)

PERTH, Australia (AP) – Paul Royle, an Australian pilot who took part in a mass break out from a German prisoner of war camp during WWII that is remembered as The Great Escape, has died in his hometown of Perth. He was 101.

Gordon Royle photographed prior to his capture during WWII (Courtesy: The Guardian)
Paul Royle photographed prior to his capture during WWII (Courtesy: The Guardian)

 

The escape was the subject of a 1963 Hollywood movie “The Great Escape” starring Steve McQueen.

Steve McQueen with Richard Attenborough (left) emerging from escape tunnel in "The Great Escape". (Courtesy: United Artists)
Steve McQueen with Richard Attenborough (left) emerging from escape tunnel in “The Great Escape”. (Courtesy: United Artists)

 

Gordon Royle said on Friday that his father died Sunday at a Perth hospital following surgery on a hip fracture that he suffered in a fall in a nursing home.

Fmr. British squadron leader Dick Churchill, sole surviving person of the 76 men to escape from Stalag Luft III in 1944. (Courtesy: Daily Telegraph)
Fmr. British squadron leader Dick Churchill, sole surviving person of the 76 men to escape from Stalag Luft III in 1944. (Courtesy: Daily Telegraph)

 

Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports that Royle’s death leaves only one survivor of the 76 men who escaped from Stalag Luft III in 1944, 94-year-old British man Dick Churchill, a former squadron leader.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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