The Tunnel

No sooner had Kaserne Holzminden opened its gates, a small group of POWs begun plotting escape.  Many attempts had been made by officers to go over the wire or through the gates disguised as German military personnel or contract civilians -- some even managed to make it into the surrounding countryside, only to be captured and returned.  Each time an escape was attempted, security was raised.

In November 1917, a trio of serial escapists -- Royal Flying Corps aviators, Captain David Gray, Captain Caspar Kennard and Lieutenant Cecil Blain -- began plotting a daring escape that completely defied the odds of probable success.  Locating the point closest to the security walls and barbed wire, the trio began digging a tunnel under the stairs in the orderlies' quarters. 

They dug through rock and packed earth with little more than kitchen cutlery.  As the tunnel lengthened, the covert escape committee grew larger.  An escape factory was set up in an attic room, where every manner of escape tool was manufactured from whatever they could find.  They dug in shifts, always taking care to appear at roll-call so as not to arouse their captors' suspicion.

Nine long months later, in the wee small hours of a July morning, twenty-nine POWs escaped via the tunnel, disappearing into the farmer's rye field outside the wall and barbed wire and melting into the German countryside ...