IN 1945, the Hexham Courant ran a story about a POW who lost more than 3 stone over the course of 39 days after being subjected to a 530 mile trek.

Lance-Corporal George Clark, of Round Close in Hexham, was taken prisoner at Knightsbridge, North Africa in June 1942.

He was held captive in Italy for 12 months before being transfered to a German POW camp.

He was liberated by advancing American troops and returned to Tynedale.

Speaking at the time, LCpl Clark said: “The Americans came in on April 5. The cheering was almost deafening. It’s hard to realise I am back in England. My first impression was that there was not much different from when I left.”

Clark weighed around six stone when he returned to England and his wife, Doris.

His sister, Joan Robinson, lives in Hexham to this day, and remembers her brother fondly - but his ordeal left a lasting impression.

Joan said: “He was quite a jolly man un spite of everything, when he wasn’t thinking about the war.

“It made him scared of the dark - when he travelling on night shifts, he would make Doris go with him.

“He got a job as a prison warden, but he couldn’t do it for very long as he didn’t like locking men up.”

After the war, George got a job delivering pig feed to Featherstone POW Camp, where German officers were interned after the war.

He befriended one officer, who came to stay with his family - and later became a mayor of a German town, penning a book where he described George

“He was a canny fella, he used to take me up to Featherstone Camp. He was friends with an officer, Gerhard, who was allowed out.

“George told me a story about one friend in the prisoner of war camp, who tried to escape by climbing the barbed wire fence.

“The guards shot him and left him hanging on the fence as a warning to the others.”

LCpl Clark died in 1985.