A PRISONER'S PROGRESS

Second edition. Signed and inscribed by David James to Eric Williams, the author of the work's introduction. Publisher's original red cloth with titles in gilt to the spine, in dustwrapper. Red top-stain. Illustrated with four maps and plans, including the endpapers. A near fine copy, the binding square and tight with a touch of bumping to the top corners. The contents with some light scattered foxing to the edges of the textblock are otherwise clean and bright throughout. Complete with the near fine pictorial dustwrapper which has some faint spotting to the spine panel and minor shelf wear to the extremities. Not price-clipped (9s. 6d. net to the front flap). An excellent copy.

Signed and inscribed in blue ink on the title page by David James "For Eric Williams / from a fellow practitioner. / David James / Jan 27th 1958." After his vessel was sunk in action off the Hook of Holland in February 1943, James and three of his crew were rescued from the water by a German trawler and subsequently sent to Marlag O, the naval prisoner-of-war camp near Westertimke. His first attempt at escape came in December 1943, when he slipped out of the shower block on a foggy morning, then crossed Germany wearing his full British naval uniform, but with forged papers identifying him as "I. Bagerov" of the Bulgarian Navy (a name chosen as a joke, so that when asked who he was he could reply "Bugger off"). James made it as far as the port of Lübeck and had made contact with the crew of a Swedish ship willing to smuggle him out of the country before he was arrested, and returned to the camp. His second escape in late 1944 used the same method, relying on the corrupt shower-block guards not to report their own short head-count. James again headed for the Baltic coast, posing as a merchant seaman, and this time made it to Sweden. His successful escape earned him an OBE and a position at the Naval Intelligence Division where he lectured his colleagues on escape methods. Believing that his experience would be of no use in the Middle East where he was to be transferred, he joined Operation Tabarin (the secret British Antarctic wartime expedition) in 1944, wintering in Graham Land until January 1946. As a consequence of this, the James Nunatak was named after him by the British Antarctic Survey. After the war he worked as an adviser in the making of Charles Frend's classic feature film 'Scott of the Antarctic' (1948) starring John Mills, for whom he appeared as a body-double in a number of scenes. The present work details his wartime escapades, and relates in detail his daring, and sometimes humorous, escape missions. This second edition is the first to include Eric Williams's introduction. A nice association copy.

Stock code: 21374

£200

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Published:

London: Hollis & Carter.
1954

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Signed / Inscribed
Non-fiction
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History / Military
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