Relatives Run Route of 'First Great Escape' To Mark Centenary

Prisoner of war descendants retrace 250km route to safety.

Descendants of a prisoner who took part in one of the most successful escapes of the First World War have marked the centenary with a fundraising run along the prisoners route to safety. 

Second Lieutenant John Keil Tullis, of the Royal Flying Corps, was among 86 PoWs who dug a tunnel out of the prisoner quarters at Holzminden camp in Germany.

The prisoners spent eight months digging a tunnel using cutlery and bowls.

Picture: Australian War Museum

They tunneled their way under two fences, and out to a field, where 29 made their escape in 1918.

Of the 29 that escaped, only 10 made it out of Germany to safety in The Netherlands, and then on to the UK. 

James and Paul Dean, great grandson and the great grandson's father of Mr Tullis, decided to take on the challenge to commemorate the bravery of their ancestor.

The relatives hope their 250km run will raise awareness of what some call the 'first great escape', and money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. 

Relatives of former Holzminden prisoners run route of escape