Discover incredible stories of Second World War captives

‘Great Escapes: Remarkable Second World War Captives’ is a major new exhibition from The National Archives exploring the human spirit in times of captivity during the Second World War.

Opening on 2 February 2024 and closing on 21 July 2024, the exhibition reveals iconic and under-told stories of prisoners of war and civilian internees. From famous escape attempts such as the escape from Stalag Luft III that we know as “the Great Escape” and British officer Airey Neave’s escape from Colditz Castle dressed as a German soldier, to remarkable stories of individuals seeking escape through art, music and finding love, the exhibition offers glimpses of the courage and ingenuity that is possible in desperately hard times. The exhibition is free to visit and you do not need to book a ticket. The National Archives is open Tuesday – Sunday, please check our opening times.

Image (right): Concealed letter sent by Flight Lieutenant Peter Gardner from Stalag Luft III, for the attention of MI9, 1942 (AIR 40/2622)
Follow #GreatEscapes