Thursday, 16 July 2015

Neil's memories of Antony

The rededication service for Antony Ronald Coulthard will take place on Thursday 30th July 2015.

As the service approaches two weeks today, I have been looking through some of the written memories within my Grandfathers Story, about his friend "Tony" as he called him.

Having been approved by "The Escape Committee" within the Camp, Neil was informed of the person who would be accompanying him on their attempt for freedom.

Speaking perfect German, proved to be a great advantage for the two men, on their first encounter with a Guard at the gates of the POW Camp;

Having been captured at the port of Gdansk the two men were eventually returned to the POW Camp. Later they would become part of a notorious and well documented "Escape Committee".

Mentioned in official MI9 intelligence documents;

Thinking back on what could have been;

Christmas 1944, although unknown at that time, would sadly be Antony's last. How fitting it must have been for Neil, knowing he was able to share this time with his good friend;

Four weeks later the men within Stalag XXA left the camp, being force marched in sub zero conditions through Poland, into Germany. It was during this march Antony, sadly passed away;


Yesterday I received a message from Antony's Niece, Barbara Willoughby-Thomas. How fitting and symbolic that they have chosen a wreath of Apple Blossoms for his grave.

It is with a heavy heart, though with pride as Neil's Grandson, that I will stand beside Barbara and others from Antony's family, at his final resting place in two weeks time.

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