From Calais to Colditz

A Rifleman’s Memoir of Captivity and Escape

Philip Pardoe

* A classic Second World War Memoir of the bitter Calais fighting, captivity and many escape attempts.

* Original first hand accounts of life in Colditz Castle are extremely rare and this one is particularly revealing.

* The author was an inveterate escaper and troublemaker.
Date Published :
July 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
16 pages of black and white plates
No associated books available.


From Calais to Colditz has never been published before but readers will surely agree that the wait has been worthwhile.

The author was a young platoon commander when his battalion were ordered by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to defend Calais to the last man and so distract German attention from the evacuation of the BEF at Dunkirk.

After an intense four day battle, the survivors were subjected to a grueling twelve day march towards Germany. There followed incarceration in a succession of POW camps during which the author succeeded in escaping twice, both over the wire and by tunneling, remaining at large on one occasion for twelve days. These exploits qualified him for a place in the notorious Colditz Castle, the supposed escape-proof camp. The descriptions of his colorful fellow prisoners, their captors and their extraordinary experiences are as good as any of the previous accounts and in many respects more revealing.

How fortunate it is that From Calais to Colditz can now be read by a wide audience.

About The Author

Philip Pardoe was educated at Horris Hill and at Eton. He was commissioned into the 60th Rifles and his war service is the subject of this book.

After the War, he continued his military career in the Green Jackets (now subsumed into The Rifles) and, among his appointments, was Military Attaché in Washington DC and, later, Buenos Aires. On his retirement as a colonel, he returned to his home near Winchester. He became a member of the Gentlemen at Arms, which gave him great pleasure.
Released from Colditz in May 1945 he married Rolline Kavanagh the following month. They had two children, Caroline and Harry.
Philip loved all field sports and tragically died in a fishing accident on the River Lochy in 1987.

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