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How wonderful

Two other attempts to escape were made during his time there but he never got beyond the camp grounds. He was subsequently sent to Stalag Luft III, near Sagan, the scene of The Great Escape.

Whilst at Stalag Luft III he met Talbot Rothwell, who later went on to write many of the Carry On films in which Butterworth was to star.


Butterworth was one of the vaulters covering for the escapers during the escape portrayed by the book and film The Wooden Horse. Butterworth later auditioned for the film in 1949 but “didn’t look convincingly heroic or athletic enough” according to the makers of the film.


18 thoughts on “How wonderful”

  1. he later escaped in June 1941 through a tunnel, covering 27 miles (43 km) over three days before a member of the Hitler Youth captured him. Afterwards he joked that he could never work with children again.

    They really are little bastards.

  2. There is a This is Your Life on Youtube about Peter Butterworth. As well as Rothwell, Rupert Davies was in StalagLuft 3 at the same time.
    Genuinely astonished to have learnt this a few months ago.

  3. They really are little bastards.

    Going through a bad patch? I remember a different sentiment a couple(?) of years back.

  4. I recall a somewhat similar fictional incident in an SF short story where the cliched university scientist invents a time machine, and brings Shakespeare back to the present day. Shakespeare is pleased to find his works still popular – though astounded at the level of academic study devoted to them. He claimed to have been knocking the plays out at short notice to ride the wave of 1600 popularity, and comments that in 400 years you could wring blood out of a stone…

    Of course, anxious to learn more, he attends the university’s Shakespeare course, and is failed heavily…

  5. @ Dodgy Geezer
    IIRC the story ends with the narrator (physics prof) speaking to the Eng Lit prof “You failed him!”
    But how about Dolly Parton relating how she came last in a “Dolly Parton look-alike” contest” …

  6. PJF – No, not really. I’ve always maintained that children are the most rewarding and most difficult burden most people can shoulder. Being a Dad is like a live-action Lord of the Flies, mashed up with Lord of the Rings, mashed up with with threatening small people into eating their mash.

    But I couldn’t live with the alternative.

  7. Steve, you seem like a good bloke that gives a shit about them, so they should turn out OK.
    Ought to be some good laughs along the way.

  8. Back to the original post: the hero is not someone built like Arnie who walks over a couple or three weeds but the guy who looks like the opening shot of a Charles Atlas advert and then takes on two or three thugs – whether or not he wins. (The most famous heroes are Leonidas and Roland, both of whom lost.)
    Just shows how far Hollywood is divorced from reality

  9. Yeah Steve. But those are your children. Many of us who have avoided the urge to breed might favour overnight exposure on a hillside with a good sized population of wolves. Although could settle for lions if they weren’t too busy stalking environmentalists & trannies.

  10. One thing I’ve learnt is that the idea we control our children and their lives is a pleasant fantasy that sometimes turns into a nightmare and what works for one is no guarantee for another, most probably why there’s so many parenting books.
    Also think the current trend of having to be a friend to your child is much to blame for lot of the woke crap, not everyone in life you interact with is your friend.

  11. @Dodgy, I think it’s The Immortal Bard by Asimov, appeared in collection ‘Earth Is Room Enough’. I think (hope) I’ve still got it in a crate in attic, if the wife hasn’t tidied up.
    True it is, though, most lit. crit. is nonsense and imputes far more to the original work than the author intended.

  12. Wot Steve said.
    It becomes clear why step-kids have a higher chance of being abused by their step parents.
    Children are the worst. Constantly noisy, incessant demands for attention, careless, damage things, don’t listen, will deliberately push boundaries (if not just breezing past them), throw tantrums, scream, etc
    But at the same time, because they’re yours, they’re the bestest thing ever. Anyone who adopts or becomes a step-parent and puts up with this sh*t from a kid that isn’t theirs is worthy of respect.

    The parenting book industry is a nightmare.
    ‘If your child hasn’t written a bestseller by 3 yrs old, they’re functionally illiterate!’
    They’re all bollocks. Kids develop at their own rate and own way. Trying to force things to some schedule is just going to end up with frustration and tears. But people read this shite and take it as gospel.

    Who wants to be friends with their kids? Jeez, being a parent is a different role.

  13. “True it is, though, most lit. crit. is nonsense and imputes far more to the original work than the author intended.”

    That was what I considered the fundamental flaw in English Lit – I remember saying repeatedly to my Eng Lit teacher at school ‘But the bloke that wrote this is dead, how do we know what he was thinking when he wrote it?’

    As a result Eng Lit was the only O level in which I didn’t get an A.

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