London, Feb. 5 (ANI): Sixty-seven years after the biggest escape of World War II, a remarkable drawing depicting British PoWs digging the tunnel immortalised in the film 'The Great Escape' has surfaced.
The watercolour sketch, which was found into the pocket diary of Private William MacDonald, shows captured servicemen working on the tunnel they nicknamed 'Harry'.
Through Harry, 76 men crawled 348 feet to freedom in March 1944 but 73 were quickly recaptured and 50 were executed by the Gestapo on Hitler's personal orders.
The two page drawing, made by PoW Lindsay Greenaway of the Royal Australia Air Force, shows two prisoners on their knees peering into the entrance to the trench in the floor of prison hut 104 with a third man below the surface digging for freedom, The Sun reports.
On one side two German guards are oblivious to what is going on beneath them and a verse reads: "Silently below the surface, twenty five feet below the floor, thus the Goons have cause to curse us, and remember 104."
In all, three tunnels - called Tom, Dick and Harry - were dug by more than 600 Allied airmen over a 12 month period beneath Stalag Luft III which was near Zagan in Poland.
Three were built with the theory that if the German guards found one they would never believe more were being attempted.
The heroic event was famously portrayed in the classic 1963 movie The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough.
The sketch is one of 28 illustrations that Pte MacDonald collected in his diary during his imprisonment at the camp.
He was not one of the escapees and spent the rest of the war as a PoW.
He managed to keep the diary secret and after the war returned to his native Scotland where he kept it in a drawer and often got it out to show visitors.
The diary has now been revealed to the public for the first time after Pte MacDonald's daughter Doreen Castle sold it at auction where it fetched 4,000 pounds- almost seven times the expected price. (ANI)