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His book Little Cyclone was republished last month in the wake of growing interest in Belgium in the Comet Line.

Survival was the name of the game.” Frost landed in a field, buried his parachute, and set off south-west away from the burning wreckage of the plane, navigating via the Pole Star.

Known to all as 'Dédée', Andrée de Jongh founded and organised the Comet Escape Line, the route from Belgium through France to Spain used by hundreds of Allied airmen to escape from Nazi-occupied Europe.

At 8.38pm on September 16, 1942, a Wellington Mk 3 took off from RAF Snaith, in East Yorkshire.

After running home and asking her parents, the reply from her mother was simple: “Anything for England.” “We wanted freedom,” Elsie says. She was very charismatic.” The family were asked to shelter one traumatised soldier who claimed to be half Belgian and half Polish, then two Frenchmen.

“We were brought up to be patriots of England and Belgium. If they even heard you listening to the BBC you were sent directly to the camps. They also housed for seven months a Belgian teacher who had been imprisoned by the Nazis for being a spy and released by mistake.

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