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WWII P.O.W. mementos auctioned

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SYDNEY, Sep 11, 2006 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A Rolex watch acquired by a prisoner in the German camp depicted in the movie "The Great Escape" was auctioned Monday in Australia.

A buyer paid $65,000 Australian ($49,000 U.S.) for the watch, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. The watch belonged to Clive Nutting, who was a corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals when he was imprisoned in Stalag Luft III.

Nutting, a shoemaker, helped with the escape by stealing leather and making shoes and belts for the men who left the camp.

Another item going on the auction block in Sydney was Nutting's camp diary, which included a drawing of the escape tunnel and a poem he wrote in memory of the 50 men who were executed after being recaptured, the Times of London reported.

The Times said that Nutting's Rolex was one of a group the Swiss watchmaker distributed to prisoners of war, asking that they pay for them after the war's end.

Nutting was involved in another escape attempt where prisoners set up a vaulting horse and did gymnastics to hide the noise of the tunnel digging. He immigrated to Australia after the war and died in 2001.


Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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