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February 28 , 2009

Lie in the Dark and Listen

The Remarkable Exploits of a WWII Bomber Pilot and Great Escaper


Life is pretty dull for Ken Rees these days. At 17 he craved danger and excitement; fast planes and cars; rugby, speed and women. Then war came and by the age of 21 he had already trained to be a pilot officer; flown 56 hair-raising bomber missions, by night over Germany; taken part in the siege of Malta; got married; been shot down into a remote Norwegian lake; been captured, questioned by the Gestapo, then sent to Stalag Luft III, where he participated in and survived the Great Escape and terrible forced march to Bremen. Now he lives relatively peacefully in Anglesey and in finding time to research and write his memoirs with Karen Arrandale has vividly recreated what it was like to be in charge of an air crew at such a tender age with responsibility for a large and expensive aircraft going 300 miles behind enemy lines, at the same time avoiding flak and enemy fighters and witnessing other comrades being shot down out of the sky.Ken's story has it all, excitement, accuracy, pace and drama and he describes events which have largely passed into legend as the former Kriegies - his friends and colleagues - pass out of this world.Wing Commander Ken Rees is one of the few remaining Great Escapers and has been interviewed extensively for newspapers, radio and television, not least during his appearances on programmes like 'Behind the Wire'.He is an excellent raconteur with many contacts in the RAF, PoW groups and the rugby world, having in the past captained London Welsh and trialled for Wales.
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