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The great escape – how a Waterford man foiled the Nazis
German soldiers invade Poland in armoured and motorised divisions in 1939 Pic: Shutterstock

21 Aug 2019 / people Print

The great escape – how a Munster man foiled Nazis

Former solicitor and current notary public Tom McGrath will share the fascinating story of his late father Tom’s great escape from the Nazis at a free public talk in Portlaw, Co Waterford, this Friday.

The late Tom McGrath, who was born in 1904, was a British army prisoner-of-war in a Nazi internment camp in Poland when he pulled off a daring escape.

He hid successfully in Berlin for some time, crossed into France and hid in Paris, then made his away across the Pyrenees and into neutral Spain.


He then surrendered to the Guardia Civil before eventually being handed over to the British in Gibraltar.

Tom senior eventually returned to Ireland where he married Elizabeth Vaughan and ran the famous Lido café in Waterford city in the 1950s and 1960s, though he never spoke about his harrowing war-time experiences.


Tom McGrath junior will tell the full story of his father’s derring-do, as well as how he uncovered the story through digging and research, on Friday evening in Portlaw.

The talk is entitled ‘A Waterford war hero’

It takes place at 7.30pm at Portlaw Heritage Centre, Co Waterford.

Gazette Desk
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