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Shrine Conversations: What happened in Stalag Luft III after The Great Escape?

Second World War (1939-45)

The Great Escape has gone down in history as one of the most crafty, yet ultimately tragic, escapes from a prisoner of war camp (listen to our other episode, 'Shrine Stories: The Great Escape', to hear the full story!).

But what happened in the camp after the escape? Were the remaining planned escapees punished? And how did the men cope with the news that 50 of their own had been killed?

Flight Lieutenant James Anthony Cathcart 'Tony' Gordon was 180th in line to escape, and his son Drew Gordon joins us for this episode to share his father’s story, and what life was like after the Great Escape in Stalag Luft III. 


Across the Line - Lone Canyon


LAURA THOMAS: The Great Escape has gone down in history as one of the most crafty, yet ultimately tragic, escapes from a prisoner of war camp. 

We’ve recorded an in-depth podcast on the escape that I recommend you listen to if you don’t know the full story – it’s called ‘Shrine Stories, the Great Escape’ , but in short, on the evening of 24 March 1944, more than 200 men prepared to break out of Stalag Luft III through a tunnel that took them nearly a year to build. 

76 prisoners managed to escape before the tunnel was discovered. 50 of these men were eventually recaptured and murdered. 

The story of these tragic deaths is relatively well-known in the public sphere, but what happened in the camp after the escape? Were the remaining planned escapees punished? And how did the men cope with the news that 50 of their own had been killed?

Flight Lieutenant James Anthony Cathcart 'Tony' Gordon was 180th in line to escape, and his son Drew Gordon, is a volunteer here at the Shrine. Drew joins me now to share his father’s story, and what life after the Great Escape at Stalag Luft III was like. 

Thanks for joining me Drew…

DREW GORDON: Absolute pleasure.

LAURA THOMAS: Now I'd hoped you start by telling us a little bit about your father, how did he end up being a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft?

DREW GORDON: Like all of them, it was probably bad luck. Going back in his early life, he was born in the UK. From a very early age, he was in boarding school, which may have actually helped him later as a prisoner of war. He was at Cambridge University doing engineering. In 1935, like many English families, he was sent to Australia and worked on a sheep property relatives had in the Riverina, which he actually loved. I think at university, he was more interested in sport than academia. 

On the 18th of August 1940, he was standing on the steps of the Malvern Town Hall in Melbourne, and enlisting for the RAAF obviously, for the Second World War, and there was a young lad standing behind him or very close to him, he got chatting to. At that stage, my father was 29 years old. And this boy, I'll refer to him as, was 18 years old, and that turned out to be Jimmy Catanach. They got chatting on the steps they both enlisted, their service numbers are only a couple of digits apart. They then trained in the Naranderra and eventually ended up in Alberta, Canada, doing flight training with the Empire Air Training Scheme, and then once they earned their wings, they sailed to England. And he was eventually posted to our RAAF Squadron 455 In Bomber Command. 

He was a pilot of at that stage it was antiquated aircraft then was a Handley Page Hamden, with a crew of four, two engine plane was known as the flying coffin or the tadpole. It wasn't greatly respected and was phased out quite early in the war. He was on his fifth mission, which was bombing anti aircraft, search lights and and other German equipment, had received incorrect information regarding the weather. His navigator became lost in heavy cloud, and suddenly they are 350 feet in Belgium at the town of Hono, where the planes hit the top of a chimney on a farmhouse on top of the hill, tore the tail gunner out. The plane then crashed into a orchard, tearing the wings and breaking the fuselage in half. The plane caught fire. 

The three remaining crew members, one of the father was one of those who managed to get out of the plane with burns to their hand, local farmers helped them and the German police and then military police turned up and he was taken prisoner with the rest of the crew three other crew members and was taken to a Dulag which was an interrogation camp, and was there for some time and then transferred in March 1942. To Stalag Luft III in Lower Silesia, which was a Luftwafer German Air Force camp specifically for Allied Air Force officers,

LAURA THOMAS: And it was there that he was somewhat reunited with James Jimmy Catanach...

DREW GORDON: Well, my father was one of the early, one of the old boys there. He came in as the camp was actually just being finished and he spoke of stories of them climbing into the back of trucks that the Germans had cut down pine trees and hiding undee, more for something to do, hiding under the branches of the pine trees. The Germans prodding them with bayonets and everyone laughing when they had to jump out so it was early days. 

But Jimmy Catanach didn't didn't arrive in camp until October 1942 from memory, so my father had been there for nine months. And as my father, as I said, was an old boy there, what he used to do was greet prisoners when they arrived at the camp with cigarettes or some tobacco, because obviously they were in a state of shock. And they'd then be interviewed to find out their backstory. And if they knew anyone in the camp they could go into a hut with, with friends. I understand when Jimmy walked in and into the camp was marched in October 1942, my father walked up to him and said, 'I've been waiting for you', I guess, as a fairly a joke. It must have been, it must be horrible for him to see Jimmy there. But at least he was alive. 

LAURA THOMAS: That's the thing. And those who have been to the Shrine know that James Catanach's is up here. And it talks about The Great Escape which Drew, we're going to talk about now, how was your father involved in The Great Escape?

DREW GORDON: Stalag Luft III too many escape attempts to even be documented, probably look, the type of person you had and there was the worst type of person you could you could put it into an area and have them being bored. So they are constantly thinking of ways to get out of the place. My father was very good with his hands. During his period there he became known as a Tin Basher, which means he built items required for the tunnels and the like, ration cans, he converted into long lengths of piping, to move air through the tunnels, but also storage containers he built. So he was very dexterous, with his hand, very clever, with very limited resources to do this. He also was a tunneler. And I've had that confirmed by one of his mates in the camp. He couldn't believe how he could spend so much time underground, where they simply said they couldn't stand it. And also very late in the war, he was a radio operator underground as well. Listening to the BBC and how the war was ending.

LAURA THOMAS: So what happened with your father on the day of the escape?

DREW GORDON: I'm like many people who've had family who have served in the military, as a young boy, you don't ask them questions. My father died when I was 15. I did a lot of listening, hearing him talking. And unfortunately, it was a million questions I would have now asked him, but I didn't. As a young boy, I'm really angry about that. So a lot of what I know is what I did hear him talking with his mates and also when people were perhaps a bit rude to him about how easy he had it in that camp, listening and hearing thinking that's not a very nice thing you've said to dad, but also talking to a couple of his mates post his death, who told me things about what he did. 

To be honest with you, I don't know where he was on the night of the escape. There was a hut where they were congregating. That would have been absolutely crammed with prisoners lining up in their order of exit. My father would have been in that hut, no dount waiting for this to happen. 200 were going to be escaping on the final escape. He was allocated number 180 however, this didn't happen because only 76 actually escaped. When the alarms went went off, the German guard was outside found the exit to the tunnel, whistles would have gone off the lights would have come back on search lights, absolute panic. They say in the huts with the prisoners who were waiting, they were burning ID documents and forged passes and the like in the stoves there, eating all the food as much as they could, because the food was going to be taken from them. 

A mate of his, Bill, was either the next one to come out of the tunnel or two back, he was right at the exit to the tunnel. He told me that his greatest fear as he crawled back down the tunnel towards the hut was being shot up the bum by a German soldier. And that's what he was expecting. He's expecting to be shot in the back as he was crawling and he wasn't. The Germans were not willing to go down the tunnel, they just didn't want to. 

LAURA THOMAS: And they probably didn't know what they were crawling into.

DREW GORDON: Absolutely no idea. So although I never heard my father talking about what happened that night specifically, reading and talking to others, I have a reasonable idea. I just need to say the worst expectation they had as punishment for this would have perhaps been a number of days or weeks in the cooler, which is the prison perhaps in solitary but they're protected by the Geneva Convention. Just as Luftwaffe, German aircrew, were protected in UK and Canada as prisoners. So they expected that the worst outcome was a period of solitary confinement, perhaps an interrogation.

LAURA THOMAS: But we know that didn't happen. 50 of them were executed. And it's an incredible tragedy that fell upon them and their families. How did this news travel back to the camp, you said that they didn't expect this was going to happen. So how did that happen?

DREW GORDON: How did my father find out about it? I don't know specifically from his mouth. But I understand that urns started returning to the camp with the remains in it. Senior officers heard that prisoners had returned perhaps would have gone to the commandant, one of the senior Luftwaffe officers in the camp, asked about the prisoners returning and were told that 'No, these are the urns of those who were shot trying to escape'. And I think the question was, 'And the others?" and they were told 'All 50 were shot trying to escape'. There would have no doubt just been utter silence and horror that we're covered by the Geneva Convention. And you're telling me that 50 prisoners have tried to escape and no one's wounded. 

These urns then started coming back into the camp. I have some recollection of a father saying that the white, red hot anger was palpable. And it was only due to the senior management or the camp, senior officers, and their very good training and discipline that something didn't happen that would have got people shot. That would have been in a state of, I think, just disbelief. A lot of people would think 'Well, that would have finished you'. It's about March, April, this is all happening, 1944. War is drawing to an end, did escapes stop? Answer is no. Another tunnel called George, and they're at it again.

LAURA THOMAS: And do you know if your father was involved in that? 

DREW GORDON: I don't. I don't. All I can say is I would assume so. Look, I don't know. 

LAURA THOMAS: I imagine the news that Jimmy Catanach who we'v spoken about before, who he met when he was enlisting was among those 50 that was executed when the news travelled back to that I can't even imagine his reaction. Did you ever speak to him about?

DREW GORDON: Never. I never spoke directly to him about his war experience. I heard, I was listening. I was a good listener. I'd hear people talk about it. He'd occasionally have his comrades over, they'd been camp with him. I'd hear them talking. But it's later conversations I've had with people who were there. He told me one funny thing, he said after the Great Escape, any clothing that came into the camp through the Red Cross and the like had all the buttons cut off. Every garment had the buttons cut off, because the Germans had found that some of the buttons on clothing coming in had compasses hidden in them, or they assumed they made compasses in the camp from old LP's, they'd melt down the plastic of an LP and then with a little needle they've made from a razor for shaving, they'd magnetise it, make these little compasses, but the Germans also thought compasses were coming in on buttons on clothing. So every single button got cut off. 

LAURA THOMAS: It just proves how crafty and how intelligent and creative these men were that they used any object they could get their hands on and repurposed it. 

DREW GORDON: Never put thousands of highly intelligent, highly skilled, dedicated guys in a camp, and it would be the same with with women, of course, if that had happened, and they're frustrated, they're bored. The Germans, a lot of people say about Stalag Luft III, they had a theatre, they had books, they had courses. Artwork. My father played judo, he was a judo instructor. He was a gymnast. So the Germans provided through the Red Cross, a lot of things for these prisoners to do, thinking that a busy prisoner is a happy prisoner who won't want to escape. Wrong, they underestimated them.

LAURA THOMAS: Now, a memorial was built just outside the camp to honour the 50 POWs who were killed. Can you tell me a little bit about that Drew?

DREW GORDON: This would be one of the greatest mysteries I think about Stalag Luft III and the Great Escape. You've got 50 prisoners who have been murdered. What do you do with their urns and their remains? They escaped on the 24th of March, and I believe the majority of the 50 had been murdered by April. In December 1944, nine months later, a quite large stone memorial has been built by the Germans. The Germans provided the stone, the workers and the like. I think a couple of hundred metres from the camp. I've been there, I've seen it. To the best description of it, it is a long, like a church altar, made from dark grey stone with a small back on it, like a bench. The 50 urns were put in that. And in December 1944, there was a ceremony, if you want to call it that, that the Germans held with a few prisoners to dedicate this memorial to 50 people they've murdered. It is truly one of the mysteries. People I have contact with who are experts on The Great Escape and Stalag Luft III especially, simply do not know how this came about. It's a fascinating enigma. That's all I can say, an absolute enigma. 

After the war when the Russians came through that area and fell into their hands and was later Poland. The Memorial and the camp was used by the Russians for German prisoners. The memorial was broken open, was desecrated, looking for valuables. The urn, some of the urns were damaged and scattered there. Now, I understand Jimy Catanach and the others are in Ponstan cemetery in Poland. The memorial has been totally restored, and has the addition of three stone scrolls on it which detail the names of the 50 which weren't there, weren't put there by the Germans. They're post-World War Two. And the camp is just nearby.

LAURA THOMAS: As you said, it's fascinating and the mind boggles about how and why that happened. But I imagine for the people who were planning to escape, your father being among them, to have that memorial must have been quite significant.

DREW GORDON: I would assume so. As I said, I've never heard it mentioned because I didn't ask him. And there's so many aspects of that camp that you look back and you think, yeah, I wish I'd asked him this, but probably as an older person, he would have spoken to me. There's a lot of trauma there. And I know with his couple of mates I did get talking to and I was obviously in my 30s talking to them, at times they glazed over and shook their heads and said 'I can't talk about that'. One was the forced march, in January 1945, when the Russians are advancing. I know a couple of them I spoke to simply said, 'I can't talk about it'.

LAURA THOMAS: We'll get to that later and the liberation but did life change much in the camp after the escape? Was security heightened? What was it like?

DREW GORDON: They were told that, I think there was a poster that came out that I've got a copy of, not an original, and it said simply 'escaping is not fun', or something like that simply saying to them, 'it's not a game', trying to put them off. But as I said, George was started, another tunnel was started. The situation is, by March, April, Great Escape has occurred. 50 have been murdered. The war is coming to an end, the guards would have known that. I do recall my father saying, and I often think about what their views were of what the future held for them. If the Germans won, my father would spend with his mates rebuilding Dresden and Berlin and places because the Bomber Command had flattened those cities. And he said, he thought he'd probably end up doing that. If the allies were going to win, which obviously they were in late 1944, you've got the worry, you're going to be massacred in the camp, what's going to happen to you? The stress would have been absolutely enormous. The Red Cross who were regularly visiting from Switzerland were getting ration packs into them. But this not knowing, not knowing would have been an enormous stress, or as the war got closer and closer, and the Russians are advancing towards them, the Russians advancing from the East driving to the West would have come right through that camp towards Berlin. So it would have been very, very stressful. 

LAURA THOMAS: Now let's talk about liberation and this big march that they were taken on, can you tell me about that, and when your father was eventually liberated, what happened?

DREW GORDON: So late 1944. As I mentioned earlier, this memorial to the 50 has been finished and dedicated, I guess. Tunnel George, which was built being built from the camp theatre, the decision was to stop work on that because the war was coming to an end, and probably was gonna be more dangerous outside the camp than in the camp. On the 29th of January 1945, the Russians could be heard as they advanced from the east, and they were only approximately 20 kilometres from the camp. I guess the assumption was, we'll sit here and the German guards will all flee. And the Russians will liberate us. 

On the night of the 29th of January 1945, my father and thousands of his fellow POWs were told 'Tomorrow, you will leave, you're going to be marching to the west, away from the advancing Russians. When you leave, you'll each be given a ration pack', which is a cardboard box about the size of a large shoe box, and 24 hours notice. Now for people like my father had been there for nearly 1000 days, that would have been extremely stressful. They had some grip on what was happening in that environment. You're marching thousands of prisoners out in knee high snow, with only the food they can carry, with insufficient clothing, freezing winter with guards who are very jumpy, and advancing Russians would have been extremely stressful and traumatising. They left, it's called a forced march, they left on about the 30th of January I understand. They went for about three months, they covered 490 kilometres, a lot of that time was marching on roads, but also there were prisoners from other prisoner of war camps. There were German farmers, but also townspeople fleeing the Russians in absolute terror of what the Russians would do to them. So it would have been Bedlam. The guards were trigger happy because they're in a state of absolute fear. So, the forced march for a father's group went for three months covered 490 kilometres in cattle trucks, filthy cattle trucks on trains, they spent time in barns, had to forage for food. Very, very, very, very stressful time. 

In the town of Lubec on the second of May, they were liberated. British forces came in and it was over. The guards had fled, and thousands of them are sitting there and it was over. I don't know how they really would have felt at the time of liberation, but I have no doubt that they are absolutely mentally and physically exhausted. The situation that my father and his fellow POWs were in at that time is that they were liberated, but in fact, they were never really free from what they've experienced in both operational flying and also as POWs. 

So, that was on the second of May. On the ninth of May, a week later, my father ends up in London, he's flown back to London, they were flying them back to England as fast as they could. So a week later, he's back in England. And I've absolute family history that three days later, he walks into a wedding service in Cambridge on the 12th of May. No one knew he was coming and he sort of, the door opened and there was Dad walking in a uniform sort of saying, no doubt saying 'what's to drink and anyone got the food?'. 

But the trauma of that jump in situations, he sailed from England on the 29th of June, and arrived in Australia on the 30th of July, so about a month at sea. But that was only two months after liberation. And then arriving in Australia, they are officially told 'Do not talk about your experience as a POW'. Just virtually get on with life, you have leave, they were given back pay and the like. And then eventually he became a civilian again. 

That time in Australia when he got back on the 30th of July 1945, the war with Japan was just about to end in August. But Australia has been under enormous stress for years. No one was interested in his story or his mates. He wasn't by himself. Many other POWs had come to Melbourne. And war with Japan ends. And then the Australian prisoners of war, the Japanese start coming home who've had an absolutely appalling time. And how do you talk about your time prisoner of the Germans when you're looking at people who had been prisoners of the Japanese? It doesn't lessen my father and his mates experience. But the public, they just were not interested. And I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted to talk about it. It's a very interesting situation to look at regarding levels of stress.

LAURA THOMAS: How did your father feel about this and being told not to share his story?

DREW GORDON: I think he just wanted to get on with life. A couple of his mates I spoke to did. I remember saying to Bill, in my 30s I'm talking, Bill was probably in his 60s or 70s. But he seemed pretty normal to me, but he said 'Drew, we're all crazy'. And what a thing for me to say that you look all right, I now look back on that and I think what a silly thing for a guy to say who actually knows what's happened to Bill. But Bill said 'we all went around the bend', which is term use of barbed wire, barbed wire affected them as sort of a mental condition. He just simply said to me 'Mate, we're all crazy'. As anyone has been a prisoner of war, you just can't get back to normality. As I said, my father had over 1000 days as a prisoner. That forced March at the end. You know, there's no no treatment for it then. Treatment was having a drink, getting together with your mates getting on with work, that was about it. There's no debriefing. And especially in Australia, and obviously in the UK too where they've been prisoners to the Japanese as well. No one wanted to hear about your experience as a prisoner of the Germans or the Italians. Because you had it easy. 

And then in 1963, a film called The Great Escape, a film made in Hollywood, pure fiction, came out 20 years after the actual Great Escape. Father and his mates were asked to the first screening of that in Melbourne, I guess they had few beers, and something to eat. The people holding it thought it would be fantastic having prisoners who were there, because it'll really give some kudos to the film. I understand, m father and Bill and the like sat there roaring with laughter because I guess you couldn't get angry at the fiction that they were watching and the dreadful Australian accents. And to people who have watched this film, and it was over 60 years ago it was released, everyone must have seen it. It's always on just before Christmas or New Year. There's one major problem with it - the Americans had nothing whatsoever to do with the Great Escape. They were in the next compound, nothing. There's no jumping over fences and barbed wire and things. There were no execution of the 50 by Gestapo and uniforms with machine guns. The only thing that I have been told by prisoners who saw it was that the tunnelling scenes are very well done, the side profile of digging the tunnels and the wheeled carts and things and coming up in the Hudson, and sealing the tunnels, that was accurate. But just the rest of it was pure rubbish.

LAURA THOMAS: How does it feel for you as descendant and having such a close relationship with it, with the story, with the Great Escape itself, how does it feel for you that that is the popularised, I guess, view of what happened when really as you've said, it's incredibly different?

DREW GORDON: I guess there's no use getting angry about it because I can't do anything. I guess a podcast like this is one small chip on the wall. Hollywood has damaged many stories. And they've turned these actors into heroes. Very, very strange. I'm cynical about it. You know, what do you do? What do you do? As I said, my father and his mates sat there laughing. Now, I guess if they'd torn the place apart and gone bezerk, could have been another reaction. But they just thought it was a comedy. And that's like I said, you either get angry or you laugh.

LAURA THOMAS: Now, Drew, you've been back to the site of the camp. Tell me what that was like, what was still there? What did you see?

DREW GORDON: Yeah, it was very, very emotional. I did a lot of research beforehand. This was 20 odd years ago, it's a lot more developed now. I obtained aerial photographs of the camp taken before the end of the war. So I was aware of when my father's hut was, the nearby railway station, I worked out how events and I worked out pacing from the station and things like that. Getting into the forest with my long suffering partner, Trudy. In the background was shell firing and tanks firing, and there'd been some signs on the side of the road saying 'NATO exercise being conducted in the near area, do not proceed up this road'. 

So here I am standing in this forest in Sagan it's called now, it was Zagon then, hearing shell firing in the distance, which is exactly what my father and his thousands of mates there would have heard in January 1945. Exactly the same. There were the remains of the huts. There were some stumps, the huts were all timber, they were all gone, the bases of where the stoves and the huts heating stoves and cooking stoves were, were square plinths made of bricks, which in the case of Harry is where the entry to the tunnel was, some of those were still there, the bricks were still there, the remains of the theatre was still there. I was able to locate where the Cooler of the prison was and things like that. I dug a bit of a hole under the under the surface of the topsoil and bought a container of sand with me. But yeah, it was fascinating, but at times, quite upsetting. Standing exactly where my father was stood with Jimmy Catanach, had stood exactly in the hut where he'd spent years, and then walking a short distance to the memorial and seeing  that was also quite, quite emotional. But what was it like going there? I had to go there. I'm fascinated with history. I love standing, I've been to Gallipoli twice, I like standing where something happened. You can read about it and think about it, but standing on the absolute ground of Stalag Luft III, picking up the sand and having it run through my fingers. 

LAURA THOMAS: I can imagine it would have been an incredibly valuable, but incredibly challenging experience at the same time. 

DREW GORDON: It was, yeah. As I mentioned, the station is nearby. And a number of the prisoners had managed to get through the Germans, get timetables for the trains and that. By the time the tunnel was discovered, they were on their way to Berlin and other places. That station had, when I was there, had not changed since the Second World War. You access it from the camp side by going down a bomb shelter, a tunnel, which had bomb proof doors on it, still from the Second World War, up onto the station, which hadn't changed, and then going into the men's toilet, which hadn't changed and many of the prisoners actually hid in the toilet, waiting for the train to come then came out on the platform and got on the train. Here I am standing in the men's toilet in Sagan exactly where Jimmy Catanach and other people stood. 

LAURA THOMAS: It's incredible. So you're a volunteer here at the Shrine and you take school groups and you show visitors around on a regular basis. And we've obviously got the case here that has some of Jimmy Catanach's belongings and tells a shortened story of The Great Escape. Do you remember when you first saw that display case and what happened?

DREW GORDON: Yeah, I started at the Shrine as a volunteer in 2017. I remember walking through the galleries, what's now our museum, the Galleries of Remembrance, and suddenly seeing Jimmy Catanach staring at me, a face I knew very well, because I have photographs taken in the 1940s with my father in the camp and seeing that. I'd say it was almost a shock but absolutely wonderful. And then I analysed why that was there, I know he's one of the 50, but he's a Victorian. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, I think when he was 21, or something. And mentioned in Despatches. If you take away the Great Escape, just as a pilot, and as a service person, a lad as my mum said, he was a lovely schoolboy, but the talent of that young guy and the loss, the loss of all of them. So I have the pleasure now of regularly taking school groups to that, and talking about it, not going into huge detail. But every time I come to the Shrine, I pay a quick visit and say hello to Jimmy. Which it's pleasure to do so. I guess for that few moments that has links me back to my father's service. And also, as I said, how lucky I am. How lucky our generation is.

LAURA THOMAS: Now this year, 2024, is a very significant year for this event. It's the 80th anniversary of the escape. So Drew,  to finish up, I was hoping that you could share your reflections on this story and why it's important that we continue to remember it and commemorate it 80 years on

DREW GORDON: I think it's important to remember and commemorate the service of all veterans male and female obviously, because when stories get forgotten, it seems unfair for people who give a great deal. The Great Escape, it's not just the Great Escape. I'm interested in the prisoners of war or the Germans and Italians being remembered. Prisoners of the Japanese are certainly commemorated regularly and so they should be, but doesn't also mean the prisoners of the Germans and the Italians should be forgotten. And the Great Escape does put a spotlight on Stalag Luft III, it was not the only allied prisoner of war camp obviously. But the bravery and the tenacity and the cunning of that escape. The logistics of it are mind boggling. And they should be remembered. The real escape and not what you see on television. 

LAURA THOMAS: Well thank you so much Drew for sharing this story.

DREW GORDON: Absolute pleasure.

LAURA THOMAS: Thanks for listening to the Shrine of Remembrance podcast. 

If this episode raised any issues for you, know that help is always available. 

Open Arms is a Free and confidential, 24/7 national counselling service for Australian veterans and their families. To contact them, phone: 1800 011 046

You can also contact Lifeline for support on 13 11 14.

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