Veteran’s story of his long march to freedom

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A FORMER Second World War prisoner of war has published an updated memoir of his experiences at the hands of his German captors.

Harry Buckledee, from Assington Road in Newton, was captured in North Africa in December 1942 and held for over two years before being liberated by American soldiers.

He first published his story, entitled For you the war is over, in 1994 but, after television channel broadcast a documentary on how war prisoners were marched out from German camps to their eventual freedom, Mr Buckledee added more material and has relaunched the book.

“It tells the story of the time I was taken prisoner, the trip from North Africa through Italy, being torpedoed on the way,” said Mr Buckledee, who has lived in Newton for more than 40 years.

“We got to Germany and I was eventually sent to the Stalag 8B camp near Poland.”

Two years after he was captured, Russian troops drove the German guards from the camp and Mr Buckledee, together with the other prisoners, marched for months in freezing cold and starving conditions before eventually being rescued.

“We slept rough and were pushed into barns – it was one of the coldest winters on record,” said the 93-year-old. “We went days without food.”

Following a surge in interest in his story after the documentary aired, Mr Buckledee has added four new chapters and republished his book through the Boxford Newsletter Group, with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society.

“My wife Linda has Alzheimer’s and she is in a home now,” he said. “I had three years of looking after her and I know what it is like 24 hours each day.

“More and more people are suffering from Alzheimer’s and if I can do a little to help then that would be good.”

For you the war is over is available from Mr Buckledee priced at £5. To order a copy, call 01787 210772.

LONG MARCH: Harry Buckledee has updated his memoir on his time as a PoW.