Memorial garden plan for pilot who took part in the Great Escape

Auchterarder Rotary Club fundraising for permanent tribute to ensure Sandy Gunn's story is not forgotten.

Auchterarder community plan memorial garden for pilot who took part in the Great Escape Colour by Richard James Molloy

A community in Auchterarder are fundraising to build a memorial garden to a World War Two pilot from the town.

Sandy Gunn joined the RAF in 1940 and flew Spitfires on Reconnaissance missions during the war.

In 1942, he was shot down and crash landed in Norway, where he was captured by German troops and taken to the infamous Stalag Luft III camp in Poland.

During his time at the camp, Sandy helped dig the tunnels that ultimately helped 76 allied troops escape the camp.

Gunn also managed to escape himself but was one of 50 men caught by the Gestapo and was killed by firing squad in March 1944.

As part of the 80th anniversary of the Great Escape, Auchterarder Rotary Club are fundraising for a memorial garden to ensure that Sandy’s story isn’t forgotten.

Fundraiser Dr James Grant told STV News: “In a way, this is probably going to be one of the last memorials ever built to this generation of ordinary young men that did extraordinary things and died in the Second World War as a result.

“This memorial garden will tell Sandy’s story but it will also be a memorial to all the young men of Auchterarder who died in that conflict.”

A fundraising event will take place on September 21.

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