Jun 272019

The Red Fox of Colditz

The Story of Lieutenant Mike Sinclair

A Talk by

Vere Hayes

Took place on Thursday 26th January 2017 in The Kincaid Gallery, RGJ (Rifles) Museum

Lieutenant Mike Sinclair was Scout Platoon Commander in A Company 2 KRRC, a unit in 30 Infantry Brigade, deployed in May 1940 to defend Calais as the Germans threatened to cut off the British Expeditionary Force from the British Channel.

Along with one battalion from The Rifle Brigade and one from Queen Victoria’s Rifles, bolstered by a battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment, the Brigade fought for several days before being overrun and forced to surrender; Mike Sinclair was captured along with most of the rest of the defenders of Calais.

Absolutely determined to escape and return to Britain to fight, his capture in May 1940 began a series of nine unsuccessful escape attempts that saw him spend longer free in occupied Europe than any other individual without ever achieving his goal of a ‘Home Run’. Sent to Colditz castle after an escape from a PoW camp in Poland and nearly reaching freedom in Turkey, he made three escapes from the castle that was believed ‘escape proof’.

He was captured at the Swiss border on one occasion and on the border with Holland on another; his most audacious attempt was when he impersonated the German Guard Commander. His luck ran out on his last attempt when a shot fired at him ricocheted off his elbow into his heart. After the war his body was removed to the British Military Cemetery in Berlin. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his “relentless devotion to escaping”, the only subaltern to be awarded a DSO posthumously during World War II as a PoW.

Sourced From YouTube (Credited to William Wright)