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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 January 2008, 16:24 GMT
'Great Escape' war veteran dies
Jimmy James

A World War II veteran who took part in the prison camp breakout immortalised in the film The Great Escape has died.

Bertram "Jimmy" James, 92, of Ludlow, Shropshire, died on Friday at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Sqn Ldr James was one of 76 men who escaped from a Nazi prison camp in 1944 in Poland, which was remembered in the 1963 film starring Steve McQueen.

Military historian Howard Tuck said the ex-RAF Squadron Leader had been "the country's greatest living war hero".

Sqn Ldr James took part in 13 escape attempts from prisoner camps during the war and witnessed a number of horrific acts of brutality, Mr Tuck said.

The veteran retired from the RAF in 1954. He leaves a wife, Madge.



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