Alfie was still in great demand in the media and made regular appearances on TV, radio and in the press up until his death in January 2013…
British veterans from the WW2 prison camp that featured in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Great Escape’ returned to the site of the getaway tunnel yesterday on the 65th anniversary of the breakout.
At the mouth to tunnel dubbed ‘Harry’ – carved from beneath the sand and soil of Stalag Luft III – the men who aided the escapers toasted absent comrades 65 years to the day that history was made.
And they bowed their heads too in respectful memory of the 50 Allied airmen escapees who, having been recaptured, were murdered on Hitler’s orders.
In 2009, Alfie and his colleagues made an emotional return to Stalag Luft III and the breakfast show on BBC 1 – This Morning – ran a short piece in celebration.
He was the camp forger. In hot weather, the guards at the infamous Nazi prisoner-of-war camp Stalag Luft III used to take off their belts and leave them lying in the sun. Reg Cleaver’s job was to sneak up and quickly take an impression of the buckles with a chunk of prison soap. This helped him make the mock uniforms that enabled British airmen to pose as German soldiers after escaping.