Troubador Express Delivery

Released: 28/08/2019

ISBN: 9781838590741

Format: Paperback

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Express Delivery

The men brought back by the Shelburn escape line, and the people who made it possible


Express Delivery tells the story of the Allied servicemen brought back from occupied France to England by the Shelburn escape line. Rather than send evaders across the Pyrenees to Spain, the men brought back by Shelburn were collected from the north Brittany coast and taken overnight direct to England by RN Motor Gun Boats. The line only existed for a few months in 1944 but in that short time was remarkably successful – 119 military personnel (including 94 American airmen) were brought safely back, with only two men lost to the enemy. Some of the evaders spent many months in enemy-occupied territory but once in the hands of Shelburn, they were generally returned to England within days – Express Delivery.

The book follows the experiences of each individual evader, and describes the organisations in Paris, Brest and l’Oise as well as those in Brittany, that made Shelburn possible; but it is the helpers who are the real heroes and heroines of this story, many of whose contributions, and eventual fates, have been sadly forgotten. Helpers, the totally inadequate term used for such extraordinary people, came from all walks of life, with men and women of all ages, and even teenagers and children taking the kinds of risks to help foreign servicemen that would be hard to believe today – and the penalties for them if caught were harsh. This is their story.

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Keith Janes

I have been researching WW2 escape lines for almost twenty years, ever since discovering the diaries of my late father who was captured in June 1940 and escaped to cross the Pyrenees to Spain in September 1941. I run the website, and wrote the 2017 book, They came from Burgundy about the Bourgogne escape line. My second book, Express Delivery, tells the story of the Shelburn line, and is due to be published in the summer of 2019.

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