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I visited my father may times during the period he was housed in the Exeter Hospital. During one of these visits I turned up to find out that he had locked himself in one of the ward bathrooms and wouldn't come out, regardless of all the entreaties of the
ward nurses. I finally got him to open the door and come out and he emerged wrapped in his dressing gown.
Underneath his gown was an assortment of items that he had put together as an escape package. He was convinced that the ward nurses
were actually German Guards and had assembled a collection containing his rubber bed pad; a couple of maps that he had taken from some National Geographic magazines tat I had given him to read; and spme bars of chocolate. He was going to use the pad to float
across any water that he came across ; the National Geographic maps as escape routes and the chocolates for food on his travels.
This was obviously a very good example of what is now known as PTSD (or "Post Traumatic Stress Disease") commonly seen in desert war
soldiers today and was very understandable, considering all the events that had taken place in his life during his time in Stalagluft III.
We finally got him calmed down enough to get back into bed. However, I was determined to get to work and find him somewhere peaceful
to spend his last days The Hospital staff were also looking to make use of his bed for some other needy patient.