Our Lancaster flew from Brussels and landed on the 7th of May, 1945, at RAF Westcott, an aerodrome somewhere West of London with a hangar laid out for our reception. The hangar had been prepared with settees and armchairs along with loads of refreshments. I was met at the aircraft by a young officer who was a member of my old squadron (158) and we sat down on one of the settees. I saw the Station Commander with his scrambled eggs on the peak of his cap walking towards us and suddenly it clicked - it was my old Squadron Commander (now Gp.Capt. Stevens) last seen the night I was shot down!

Soon afterwards we were taken to London and put on a train to Cosford. The next day, the 8th of May (V.E. Day), we were kitted out, given medical checks, interrogated and, in the evening, attended an all-ranks dance. On the 9th of May I travelled home by train.

Home again after three years in Stalagluft III, with my wife, Doris, and son, Peter.

My car had been looked after by my friend, Bader Field, who had been a Major in the Home Guard. Although it had been damaged by a bomb, he had had it repaired and it was ready for the road when I visited him the next day. Doris and I decided to go away for a few days and we managed to get fixed up at the "Swan Hotel" in Lavenham, Suffolk. The first evening we were there I noticed a glass boot on the bar shelf and said to the landlord, "I've seen that boot before, somewhere". He told me that there were not many like it around but that a film had been made about old English hotels showing one of his oldest customers drinking out of it. He said that this fellow wasn't there at the moment but would be in the following night. It was then that I remembered the film that had been shown while I was in the Stalgluft III camp!

The next evening the customer came in for his usual pint and I was introduced to him and he gave me this piece of the film that showed him holding the glass boot.

Film stripdetailThe Glass Boot

I have been back many times since then and I took the last photo shown during one of these visits in May, 1978.

I also attended a great Ex-POW show in London at around this time.The London Ex-POW Show.

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