Great Escape prisoner of war Frank Stone dies aged 91

Frank Stone returned to the site of the camp for the first time in 2009

Related Stories

One of the few remaining survivors of a German prisoner of war camp immortalised in the film The Great Escape has died.

Frank Stone, who died aged 91, was taken to Stalag Luft III in Zagan after his bomber crashed in Germany in 1940.

The 18-year-old RAF gunner was housed in hut 104, home to 76 airmen who attempted escape via a tunnel in 1944.

However, the alarm was raised before Mr Stone, who had helped dispose of soil from the tunnel, could join them.

During an interview with the BBC in 2009, Mr Stone, of Hathersage, Derbyshire, said the atmosphere on the night of the escape had been "electric".

The Great Escape

Prisoners of war at Stalag Luft III in Zagan, Poland
  • Stalag Luft III opened in Spring 1942
  • Air Force personnel only
  • At maximum it held 10,000 PoWs, covered 59 acres, with 5 miles of perimeter fencing
  • Wooden Horse escape on the night of 29/30 October 1943
  • Great Escape on 24-25 March 1944
  • Of three tunnels, only one, 'Harry', completed
  • 'Harry' was 336 ft (102m) long, 28ft (8.5m) deep

"It was all very tense - but at 5 o'clock, a shot rang out and we knew they had been discovered."

Of the 76 who made their break for freedom using the tunnel, known as Harry, 50 were subsequently shot after being recaptured and only three men managed to get away successfully.

Mr Stone said: "It was very sad and we were advised not to make any further attempts to escape."

He was finally freed towards the end of the war.

His widow, Jane, said: "He gave lots of talks about the escape and always said he was doing it in memory of those 50.

"Frank could never understand why people where so interested in him but they were. We often had to put extra talks on so more people could come."

Stalag Luft III, which was 100 miles south-east of Berlin, held about 10,000 RAF crew at the height of its occupation.

In 1947, 18 soldiers who shot those who were recaptured were put before a military tribunal in Hamburg.

Thirteen of them were executed, while the rest received long prison sentences.

The story of the escape was made into a film in 1963, starring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Donald Pleasence.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Derby



Min. Night 11 °C

BBC Local Live


    BBC Local Live has finished for the day. We'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday with more news, sport, travel and weather.

    Dry evening 17:53: Sara Blizzard Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

    It should be a dry evening with a few clear spells.

    Sara Blizzard reads the forecast

    It remains dry overnight with some clear spells especially in the north where it will become quite chilly, but for most the cloud will persist with some isolated mist or fog forming. Feeling cooler tonight. The minimum temperature will be 10C (50F).

    In the news tonight 17:45: Sarah Teale Presenter, East Midlands Today

    A man who was jailed for a murder he did not commit has been freed after almost six years behind bars. Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell was originally convicted of ordering the shooting of Derby teenager Kadeem Blackwood.

    Today after a second re-trial, a jury decided he was not guilty. We will hear from our social affairs correspondent, Jeremy Ball, who was in court. Tune in to East Midlands Today at 18:30 on BBC One or catch up with the programme here.

    'Joint enterprise' study 17:35:

    The Bureau of Investigative Journalism produced the first statistical analysis of "joint enterprise" homicide cases.

    Many legal experts expressed concern about its use.

    Stephen Lawrence

    Joint enterprise can apply to all crimes, but recently it has been used to prosecute homicide, especially in cases involving gangs of young men.

    It was used to convict David Norris and Gary Dobson for the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence.

    Share your views 17:25: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

    M1 lanes closed 17:18: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Two lanes are closed and there is very slow traffic on the M1 northbound between J29a, Markham (Markham Vale) and J30, A616 (Sheffield), because of an accident in the roadworks area.

    For all the latest information visit BBC Travel.

    'Justice has been done' 17:08: BBC Radio Derby

    Wendy Hamblett-Sewell said "justice has been finally done" after her son Michael-Paul was cleared.

    Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell with his mother

    His father Michael Lloyd Sewell said: "Next month it will have been six years [he was in jail]. He's had to go through that. It's not very nice."

    News on the hour 16:56: Kelly Smith Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    In the 17:00 headlines, a Derby man who was jailed for a murder he did not commit has been freed after almost six years behind bars.

    Listen live to BBC Radio Derby.

    Market consultant's appointment imminent 16:46: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    A tender process to appoint a consultant to advise on Derby's city markets will start soon and it is anticipated a report will be completed by March next year for the council to consider.

    A city council spokeswoman said: "This vision can then be considered as part of the developing strategic vision for the city centre's retail and cultural offer."

    Woman, 81, robbed at home 16:37: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Two robbers stole jewellery from an 81-year-old woman after forcing their way into a house in Chesterfield. Police are appealing for information.

    Boost after fire 16:28:

    Derbyshire Dales District Council tweets: New £60k gym boost for #Ashbourne's fire-damaged leisure centre

    New cricket scouting system 16:19:

    Derbyshire County Cricket Club says the county's former seamer and the club's cricket advisory director, Kevin Dean, is to lead a newly-professionalised scouting system.

    Kevin Dean
    Research 'could change treatment' 16:06: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    "This trial, depending on the results, has the potential to change treatment for women not only in this country but worldwide."

    Those were the words of Mr Amit Goyal, the consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon, who has received a £2.9m grant to lead research into the treatment of breast cancer.

    He added: "If we are able to increase awareness and more women participate in this trial we can reach the answer quicker."

    News on the hour 15:56: Kelly Smith Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    In the 16:00 bulletin we will hear the reaction of both parents of Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell after he was cleared of murdering Kadeem Blackwood after a third trial.

    Listen live to BBC Radio Derby.

    The history of joint enterprise 15:32: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell was charged with murder under the controversial joint enterprise law.

    Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans were the last people to be executed in the UK

    The murder of John West may not have been the most memorable, but the fact it led to his two killers being the last criminals executed in the UK wrote it - and the joint enterprise law - into the history books.

    Alton Towers recruitment 15:20: Ashbourne News Telegraph

    Jobseekers in Ashbourne could get a welcome boost as Alton Towers has advertised 250 posts to help give visitors a fright at Halloween this year.

    Booze-fuelled crime crackdown 15:09: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Police in Glossop have launched a campaign to tackle alcohol-related crime in the community.

    News on the hour 14:57: Kelly Smith Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    A Derby man who has spent six years behind bars accused of murder has been freed after a third trial found him not guilty. Listen live to the 15:00 bulletin for more on this story.

    Friend of accused admitted pulling trigger 14:47: Caroline Lowbridge BBC Local Live

    Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell was prosecuted under the joint enterprise law, despite a friend admitting he pulled the trigger of the gun which killed Kadeem Blackwood in Derby.

    'Extremely emotional' 14:34: Jeremy Ball Correspondent, BBC East Midlands

    The family of the defendant have been extremely emotional. When this verdict came in, there were gasps of relief and tears.

    There were cries of "thank you judge, thank you jury". It was an incredibly emotional moment.

    Victim died six years ago 14:22: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Kadeem Blackwood (pictured) died on the evening of 11 November 2008.

    Kadeem Blackwood

    Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell, then 19, was arrested the morning after and interviewed by police several times.

    Controversy over charge 14:08: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell (pictured), who has now been cleared, was accused of murdering Kadeem Blackwood under the joint enterprise law, which has been criticised by campaigners and some lawyers.

    Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell
    News on the hour 13:59: Kelly Smith Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    A Derby man who served six years in jail charged with the murder of a Derby teenager has been freed after a third trial found him not guilty.

    We will have more on this story in the 14:00 bulletin.

    Third trial 13:37:

    Michael-Paul Hamblett-Sewell, who has been in custody for six years, had been on trial for a third time over the shooting of Kadeem Blackwood.

    His friend Callum Campbell has admitted pulling the trigger of the gun.

    Murder verdict 13:31:

    Kadeem Blackwood was shot in Caxton Park on the evening of 11 November 2008.

    Man found not guilty of 2008 murder 13:25: East Midlands Today

    Michael Hamblett-Sewell has been found not guilty of the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Derby in November 2008.

    Derbyshire 'could win promotion' 13:15:

    India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara says he's been impressed with the quality of the Derbyshire squad and believes they have the ability to gain promotion in 2015, in an interview by Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

    Cheteshwar Pujara
    Coming up 13:06: Sarah Teale Presenter, East Midlands Today

    At 13:30 our health correspondent Rob Sissons will be reporting on how the Royal Derby Hospital is leading one of the biggest breast cancer research studies to be carried out in the UK.

    It will look at whether the removal of cancerous lymph glands under patients' arms can be avoided. The surgery can have permanent side effects. For more on this story tune in to BBC One or catch up with the programme here.

    News on the hour 12:56: BBC Radio Derby

    The airline Aer Lingus is to return to East Midlands Airport after 18 years and is offering a direct route to Dublin.

    You can hear more on this story and others in the news at 13:00.

    Gibb's final recordings 12:45: Andy Potter Presenter, BBC Radio Derby

    Two years after the death of Robin Gibb from the Bee Gees, I will be chatting to his wife and son about the release of his final recordings.

    And Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe from TV's Most Haunted will be telling us what he's going to be doing in Derby as part of Quad's Supernatural Season. Listen live from 13:00.

    Radio bake-off 12:31: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    BBC Radio Derby is about to hold its very own bake-off. Here's the entry Colin Bloomfield has just finished putting together on his desk.

    Victoria Ssponge with one raspberry on top

    All six contestants have been tasked with making their own Victoria sponges and they will be judged by Wendy Thompson, from The Kitchen, in Derby city centre, and Andrew Auld, from The Loaf, in Crich.

    Find out more about what the judges are looking for on the BBC Radio Derby Facebook page.

    Central library closure 12:20:

    Library news tweets: Central Library will be closed from Monday for essential fire safety improvements re-opening on Mon 20 Oct at 10am.

    Whilst Central Library is closed customers can use any other Derby library with their library ticket.

    Sheep theft charge 12:11: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    A man has been charged with the theft of sheep after 49 animals were allegedly stolen from a farm in Hathersage last year.

    News on the hour 11:56: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    A jury has begun considering whether a Derby man is guilty of murdering teenager Kadeem Blackwood six years ago. It's the third time Michael Hamblett-Sewell's been on trial for the same offence.

    In the 12:00 bulletin we will hear Jeremy Ball reporting from Nottingham Crown Court.

    Ghostly goings-on in Ashbourne 11:47: Ashbourne News Telegraph

    Evidence gathered by a paranormal investigation which appears to show ghostly goings-on at Ashbourne Town Hall has been posted on the News Telegraph's website.

    Direct flights to Dublin 11:36: BBC Radio Derby

    The airline Aer Lingus is to return to East Midlands Airport after 18 years and is offering a direct route to Dublin.

    Aer Lingus planes

    The twice daily flights will begin in February. Aer Lingus says it hopes to carry up to 70,000 customers on the route in the first year.

    Slow traffic on A38 11:24:

    BBC Travel says there's slow traffic on the A38 southbound in Derby at Markeaton Island.

    Breast cancer research 11:11: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Earlier we brought you news of a national research project which could change the way women are treated for breast cancer.

    Amit Goyal

    The research grant award of £2.9m to Mr Amit Goyal, consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon, is the largest-ever grant received by a Derby Hospitals' researcher.

    The grant will fund his team's work, which will involve 50 or more hospitals across the UK taking part in a decade-long study. You can read more about the project here.

    News on the hour 11:00: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    In the 11:00 news we will hear from Mary Fry, who runs a British shop and tea room in Pasadena, and is making the trip from California to attend tomorrow's funeral for the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.

    Nursing chief up for award 10:42: Buxton Advertiser
    Your favourite Rams goals 10:27: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Derby County scored their 100th goal under Steve McClaren last night. What are your favourites? We'll play a few on Saturday.

    Steve McClaren

    And I will not accept "all five against Forest" as an answer. Have a think about it folks.

    Share your views 10:11: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

    News on the hour 10:00: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    The Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded a £2.9m grant to study whether certain breast cancer surgery is beneficial.

    We will hear from Amit Goyal, a consultant breast surgeon, in the 10:00 bulletin.

    Future of Derby markets 09:54: Ben Truslove BBC News

    We brought you news yesterday that the city council is bringing in a consultant to advise on the future of its markets.

    The authority defended its decision to bring in the external expert because of the "specialist nature of retail market provision".

    Derby's Eagle Market

    A spokeswoman said: "The intended outcomes from this piece of work will not only include the provision of a strategic vision for a future a sustainable city market offer but also the creation of a short to mid-term action plan for both trader and market improvements."

    Road reopens 09:39: Derby Telegraph

    Kedeleston Road has reopened following a crash that led to four people being injured.

    'Formula 1 of ploughing' 09:29: Rob Watts Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    I'm at the Brailsford Ploughing Match where I've spoken to Dave Chappell, the world number seven in what's described as "the Formula 1 of ploughing".

    Brailsford Ploughing Match
    McClaren's year at Derby 09:16: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    Derby's County's 2-0 win over Bournemouth was the 32nd of Steve McClaren's year in charge.

    Victory takes the Rams up to fourth in the Championship, just a point behind leaders Norwich who lost 1-0 at home to Charlton last night.

    Deadline approaches 09:06:

    Derbyshire County Council tweets: There's only a month left to apply for your child's secondary school place. You can do it here now

    News on the hour 08:58: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    Derbyshire's Chamber of Commerce says Derby got the tactics wrong when bidding for the training college for HS2 rail engineers.

    The government's chosen Doncaster and Birmingham as the locations instead. We'll hear from George Gowcher, the chief executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire chamber, in the 09:00 bulletin.

    • News, sport, travel, weather for Wed 1 Oct
    • More updates from 08:00 on Thursday
    • Listen to BBC Radio Derby
    Breast cancer project 08:47: East Midlands Today

    Royal Derby Hospital has started a 10-year research project which could change the way women are treated for breast cancer around the world.

    Amit Goyal

    Consultant and associate professor Amit Goyal has been awarded nearly £3m for the investigation.

    It'll look at the best way of treating breast cancer when it's spread to the lymph glands under the arms.

    Ploughing match 08:34: Rob Watts Presenter, BBC Radio Derby

    I'm doing a live piece for BBC Radio Derby from a ploughing match just before 09:00. It's my second ploughing match in a fortnight.

    Ploughing match

    That's a sentence I never thought I'd say.

    Alfreton lose to Halifax 08:25: Derby Telegraph

    Alfreton Town at times played some slick attacking football but defeat by high-flying FC Halifax Town pushed them back down into the Vanarama Conference Premier relegation zone.

    Collision causes heavy traffic 08:11: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    The Kedleston Road in Kedleston is closed and there's heavy traffic in both directions near the Inn Lane junction because of an collision involving two vehicles.

    There is also slow traffic on the A50 eastbound in Sudbury at J7, A515 (Cubley), because of a broken down vehicle. For the latest information visit BBC Travel.

    Warm spells 08:03: Sara Blizzard Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

    Today there will be a fair amount of cloud and many places will be dry for much of the time.

    A few warm sunny spells are likely especially in the morning.

    Turning cloudy into the afternoon with patchy rain spreading south eastwards. Maximum temperature of 19C (66F).

    Good morning 08:00: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Derbyshire today.

    If you want to share something happening or a photograph of your area, email or tweet @BBCDerby.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.