Patrick Reid; Ex-British Officer Made Daring Escape
Patrick Reid, 79, the British World War II army officer who escaped from Colditz Castle, a supposedly impregnable Nazi prison camp. Reid was taken to the 17th-Century castle in 1940 after six attempts to escape from other prisons. In 1942, Reid, a major, and Lt. Cmdr. Billy Stephens, disguised as French workmen, used a smuggled saw to cut through window bars and sneaked out of the prison through a sewer that led into the castle’s moat. They eventually escaped from the castle, which overlooks the Mulde River near Leipzig, by train to Switzerland. Reid’s book, “The Colditz Story,” was published in 1953 and was made into a film and a British television series. After the war, Reid set up a building company and lectured on his wartime experiences. Recently, he worked as a consultant to East Germany’s tourism bureau on the modification of Colditz into a museum. He was made a Member of the British Empire in 1940 and awarded the Military Cross in 1943 for gallant and distinguished services. On Tuesday in London after what was described as a short illness.