On 14th July 1941 Duncan Greig was provided with false papers and two
guides by the group. When the guides got lost and did not know the way
Grieg decided to undertake the journey alone. He took the train to
Charleville in France and from there travelled, still by train, along
the Swiss frontier to Besancon and the small station at Arbois on the
border between occupied and Vichy France. In a cafe in Arbois Greig
found a guide to take him across the border into Vichy France. The
crossing took 20 minutes through some woods and cost Greig 150 francs.
He than caught a bus to Poligny and from there went by train through
Lyons and Toulouse and arriving in Lourdes on the 17th July. On the way
he slept in station waiting rooms and was never checked by French
officials although he was once questioned by a German officer.
Duncan Greig remained in Lourdes until the 31st August waiting for
Cowan and Conville, he did know that they had not yet left Brussels.
When they did not arrive Greig consulted a British civilian who he had
met on the best way to get to Spain and was put in touch with two
Belgians, Willy Muelle from Bruges and Nestor Bodson from Liege. The
three of them then travelled by train to Oloron and Tardets and then by
foot and bus to the village of Licq where they were instructed to speak to the hotel owner.
There they found a guide, Jean, who took them over the
Pyrenees at Pic des Escaliers through the Foret D'Iraty and across the
The hotel in Licq where they met the guide Jean. Pic des Escaliers and the Foret D'Iraty in the Pyrenees.
Another guide, a Basque, took over and took them to
Aoiz where on the 12th September they were arrested by the Civil Guard
and imprisoned for 6 days. He was then imprisoned in Pamplona until the
1st October in Irun for a further two weeks and in Miranda del Ebro
from the 15th until the 30th October. He was then released and taken to
Madrid where he remained until the 20th November when he was sent to
Gibraltar and freedom.
Miranda del Ebro Concentration Camp Spain. merci Georges Dehasse
As the soldiers hiding in Brussels left for Spain they were replaced in
the safe-houses by airmen who had escaped from their crashed aircraft.
One such airman was Sergeant Albert DAY 10263 RCAF a Canadian in 77
Squadron RAF. At 22.07 on the 5th August 1941 set out from RAF
Topcliffe to bomb Frankfurt. Did not reach target as weather was bad so
went to alternative target at Koblenz and were hit by AA fire. Fire
broke out repeatedly and the plane lost height so the crew baled out
near Meulebeke West Flanders. The rest of the crew Pilot Officer
D.G.Barber, Pilot Officer I.A.Kayes, Sgt. W.F.Thuell and Sgt.M.B.C.
Delaney RCAF all who became POW's. Day at first evaded in Flanders and
arrived in Brussels on the 11th September 1941. One of the houses he
stayed in was Jeanne Monnier-Deporque's.
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© John Clinch 2002