Only those who have been prisoners have any concept of the horrors of being a prisoner, or the ineffable joy of release, of the terrible rise and fall of spirit.
In mid-1943, a British pilot imprisoned in Germany commenced cryptic communication back to England. He had just one goal in mind: to establish a secret trust fund that prisoners of war could use in order to purchase their very own spitfire to soar above them in the skies over occupied Europe. The Spitfire was to be named Unshackled Spirit, and this aircraft, along with this man's selfless act, epitomised the courage and strength of the thousands of men experiencing the horror of the Second World War.
Alongside the story of this unique Spitfire, Colin Pateman records the lives of many prisoners of war, detailing their repeated escape attempts, the strain of daily life in the PoW camps, and the hardships endured during their organised moves across Europe. Pateman's study of these experiences is supported by extracts from prisoners’ treasured wartime logs, including poems, artwork, letters home and personal thoughts, and an examination of the vital committees and institutions that strove to support the plight of these men.
At times heartbreaking, inspirational, and uplifting, Unshackled Spirit reveals the hope and bravery of those forced to endure the trauma of the war while never losing sight of freedom.
||234 x 156 mm
||15 February 2013
||30 black and white photographs
Colin Pateman served for 32 years in Sussex Police, a qualified Home Office Instructor in all Police Dog roles. In addition, the specific search dog requirements with the armed services saw him trained by the Royal Engineers, and deployed as a search advisor in both his home county and Nationally.
He is an avid collector of military medals and memorabilia, with a particular interest in the Royal Air Force. The author of Airborne Animals and Cockpit Companions and the Co-author of Unwanted Hero.