Rescued from Vichy's grasp



Rescued from Vichy's grasp


Account of Douglas Hudson's safe arrival home after two years internment in French North Africa. Notes squalid conditions in camps and two escape attempts.





One newspaper cutting


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Rescued From Vichy’s Grasp
On his way to Nelson, to a home he only knows through a mother’s pen, is a young Manchester airman, who has been captive in French North Africa, for the past two years. He is Sht. Obs. J. Douglas Hudson, whose parents have lived at 191 Halifax Road, Nelson since the Luftwaffe’s blitz on Manchester.
For two years he has suffered the anguish of Moroccan prison camps having been interned since his plane came down on the coast of French North Africa. Now through the timely arrival of the British and American Armies he is free once more.
Following the receipt pf a telegram telling of his safe arrival in these shores, came another with the welcome news that after preliminary business, he would be coming to his Nelson home for the first time. Born in Manchester Sgt. Hudson was one of those who realised the peril in 1939 and volunteered for air crew duties with the R.A.F. Auxiliary – When war did break out he was called into action and took part in many raids before his interment.
Subject to the squalor of African captivity, it is not surprising to learn that Sgt. Hudson made two attempts to escape from his captors. These treks probably in Arab guise with beard and robes, should form the basis of a thrilling story, for a journey of 400 miles to a friendly frontier would be fraught with danger and even greater frustration when the attempts proved unsuccessful within a few miles of freedom.
Also captive during this period was Eric Pickles of the Fleet Air Arm, a young man born in Colne. Between them they should have much to tell and not least of it the excitement of their rescue a bare few weeks ago.



“Rescued from Vichy's grasp,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 19, 2024,

Item Relations

Item: Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents dcterms:relation This Item