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Be That Guy

This is one of my favorite photos of all time.

The man’s name was Horace Greasley. He was a British POW famous for escaping over 200 times to visit his girlfriend, a local Jewish girl. Why did he keep going back? Loyalty. He returned every time with extra food or other contraband to share with his fellow captives. Greasley spent 5 years as a prisoner of war, during which time he served as camp barber and worked in the marble quarries.

Following capture, the men were forced to march for ten weeks from France to Poland. The men suffered deplorable conditions and spent a winter, in temperatures as low as -40C, lodged in an old horse stable. Those who survived the march and train transfer were beaten, tortured, and starved. Greasley was once beaten so badly he lay unconscious for 2 days. In 2008, he published his autobiography “Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?” Two years after its release, he died at age 91.

When I see this photo, I always admire the defiance in his face. He refused to be broken. Be that guy.

Oh and by the way, the German officer he’s staring down is Heinrich Himmler.


About ~ TLR (21 Articles)
I'm Christian, married and have 2 children. I am a native Texan and grew up in a small rural community near the Mexican border. My relatives have served in every major American military engagement since the Revolutionary War. I hold degrees in History and Literature.

6 Comments on Be That Guy

  1. Avatar Paul Sanders // Oct 31, 2013 at 2:08 am // Reply

    the officer behind henrich and to the right. appears to have a look of respect and admiration for the POW. but how could you not respect a man like that.

  2. photo? none here

  3. Avatar LocoGringo // Oct 31, 2013 at 6:59 am // Reply

    The article says “temperatures as low as -40 C”. Does anyone know what that converts to in Fahrenheit? It’s approximately -110 degrees Fahrenheit or so. Don’t think it gets that cold in Europe. It’s a stretch for it to get that cold in the dead of winter above the Arctic Circle.

    Not trying to diminish the story because it’s a great story, but accuracy is important. I doubt I have the strength to “be that guy”, but I’d like to think I could be.

    • Avatar Celticsailor // Oct 31, 2013 at 7:12 am // Reply

      actually-40c and -40f are the same temp. The only place on the scale where they are the same. And yes, it gets that cold in Europe.

  4. Avatar Linda Armstrong // Oct 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm // Reply

    I believe the Bible and the book of Revelation tells us a time is coming like no other time on this earth and many will suffer and die. In times of trouble, be a person that makes a difference for others. Give JOY and PEACE to others always. Be strong and of Great Courage. Seek JESUS, Prayers for our country and troops.

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