Friday, December 14, 2012

Must-Read Obit

An exceptional, must-read obituary from The Telegraph.  Maybe the best thing, pound for pound, you'll read all year.  Unbelievable.  I can't do justice to how impressive it is.  A single solitary incident from this man's life would make most people proud forever.

How many prisons did the man escape from??

Perhaps my favorite part is how--as an aside!!-- it's related that he became the UK hang-gliding champion for, like, 8 years, during the 60s.  The mentioning of it is so casual.  The war was over, he didn't have much else to do, so he went ahead and decided to master hang-gliding.  And that is maybe the TENTH MOST AMAZING THING the man did.


A sample (takes place during WWII, obviously):

...In the darkness Deane-Drummond fell into a slit trench on top of a German soldier. He and his comrades were taken prisoner and moved to a house on the outskirts of Arnhem, a temporary PoW “cage” holding about 500 all ranks and guarded by an under-strength company. Deane-Drummond found a wall cupboard about four feet wide and 12 inches deep with a flush-fitting concealed door. He unscrewed the lock, turned it back to front, pasted over the outside keyhole and locked himself in. For the next 13 days and nights, he remained there.
The room beyond his door was used by the Germans as an interrogation centre. He had only a one-pound tin of lard, half a small loaf of bread and his water bottle to keep him going. A gap in a corner of the floor surrounded by pipes served as a makeshift urinal.
On the 14th night, the Germans left the room empty and held a party upstairs. Deane-Drummond slipped out of his cupboard, climbed out of a window, dropped into the shrubbery, dodged the guards outside and got away.
A Dutch family concealed him in a shed next to their house. When the Germans searched it, Deane-Drummond, hidden under a pile of sacks, remained undiscovered.
He was passed from one “safe house” to another. On one occasion Baroness Ella van Heemstra, the mother of Audrey Hepburn, arrived with a bottle of champagne.


Dezmond said...

Is this for real? That dude was bad-ass.

ANCIANT said...

It's definitely for real. And yes: he was.

JMW said...

Fantastic. If you like stuff like this (and who doesn't?), you should read Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre.