David Miles Lubbock: His Part in The Great Escape

Head shot of David Lubbock at the camp
Image courtesy of the Lubbock family

On the night of 24th of March 1944 Allied prisoners at the top security Stalag Luft III Nazi camp took part in a daring escape a fictionalised account of which is recorded in the film ‘The Great Escape’ starring Steve McQueen and a host of other stars.

There are many excellent accounts of what the prisoners did to tunnel their way out of that camp. ‘The Great Escape’: The Audacious Real Story of the WWII Prison Break

76 airmen escaped that day out of 200 who hope to. The preparation and organisation was immense. Those stories are fascinating – and one such is that of David Miles Lubbock.

David Lubbock was also a prisoner in the camp. He provided the escapees with a special powdered mixture and a slab or fudge created using his nutritional expertise. His efforts, made up from the ingredients of Red Cross ration packs, are thought to be one of the earliest examples of energy bars.  

His scientific knowledge not only fuelled the daring escapees but underpinned some extraordinary war-time encounters. 

 David Lubbock had a degree in Nutrition and Economics from Trinity College Cambridge and joined the pioneering founder of the Rowett Institute, John Boyd Orr, in Aberdeen in the early 1930s. With the outbreak of war he enlisted with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was soon on active duty. Poor eyesight meant he could not be a pilot but served as an observer. It was in that capacity that he was shot down and badly injured. Captured he was then transported to a prison camp. His story is one of bravery and resilience.

Click on this link to Read his full story 

Full length shot of David Lubbock in the POW camp
Image courtesy of the Lubbock family

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