His son Tom says he was "gobsmacked when he heard about his father's escape during the war": "He never spoke about the war or his experience.
"I went to the national archives in London where I found his account of the escape.
"I have read a lot of books on that period and particularly soldiers who were captured and escaped.
"The conditions in which they were kept were horrendous. The food rations were abysmal.
"They suffered with lice and were working 12 hours a day.
"It was a very tough existence and what he went through for that year when he was on his own, where he had uncertainty every day he got out of bed, he didn't know who he was going to meet, or what he was going to face."
Tom was given the three medals - the Military Medal, the 1939-1945 Star and the War Medal - at a ceremony at the British ambassador's residence in Dublin on Tuesday.
"We are extremely proud and I am so happy," he added.