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They came from Burgundy
A study of the Bourgogne escape line
28 Mar 2017
After more than four years work, the book "They came from Burgundy" is as finished as I can make it. The title comes from a request made to many of the evaders as they left Paris to pass on to the British authourities the name of the organisation that had helped them. Although based around military escape and evasion reports, the main aim of the book is to introduce the reader to as many of the escape line helpers as possible because it is they who are the heroes and heroines of this particular story.
   
Of the three major escape lines running through France during the Second World War - the Pat O'Leary line, which covered most of the country, the Comete line, which ran from Holland and Belgium through France to the Pyrenees, and Bourgogne - Bourgogne (aka Burgundy) is the least well known. Escape lines are a largely unrecognised, or at least often overlooked, episode of the Second World War. For those who were involved - the helpers (mostly French, Belgian and Dutch civilians) or benefitted from them (mostly British, Commonwealth and American servicemen) - this was a personal war, which was, and remains, almost unknown to the outside world, despite the tragic loss of so many of those concerned. To the families of the servicemen saved, it must have seemed like a miracle to have their loved ones returned safely to them. For the helpers and their families who were caught, it often meant death. This study, which is based around contemporary reports and documentation, as well as extensive personal research by the author and others, describes the evasions of the more than three hundred Allied servicemen helped by the Burgundy line, together with details and the eventual fates of many hundreds of their helpers.
   
This page is intended to raise interest and awareness about the book but also to provide corrections and updates to the printed version as and when further information becomes available - a sort of on-line errata.
Click here to buy a copy of the book from publisher Troubador
or you can contact me to buy a copy ..
Please note that the book (198,000 words) is quite heavy so postage to Europe is expensive
Readers in the USA or Canada might do better to wait until the book is available through local suppliers