POW NUMBER: 7232
FORENAME: WILLIAM HERBERT (WILLIE)
AGE: 25 YEARS
CAPTURED: 1900/06/11, RHENOSTER RIVER
SEND FOR DIYATALAWA, CEYLON, SHIP: CATALONIA
ESCAPED: PORT OF COLOMBO
Five exiles – Lourens Steytler, George Steytler, Willie Steyn, Piet Botha and a German named Hausner – succeeded in swimming out to a Russian steamer in the port of Colombo, travelled by a devious route through to the Crimea and from there to St Petersburg, Russia where the locals, sympathetic to the Boer cause, celebrated their escape. Then on to Germany, The men then visited Kruger in Holland and finally landed at Walvis Bay. They then made their way back to South Africa to rejoin their comrades.
Thank you for this post, and the others that immediately followed it. The escape of Willie Steyn and his comrades is amazing. I had a vague knowledge of this story, but I am pleased to see it repeated here together with a photo of one of the participants. It is perhaps surprising that the Americans haven't made a film of this adventure. They could have justified it to American audiences by changing the German, Hausner, into a German American!