06/02/2017 Inside Out South West


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06/02/2017

The untold story of James Bond director, and Devon-based spy, Guy Hamilton, who worked with the French Resistance in World War II.


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Tonight on Inside Out - Gone in 60 minutes, why Land Rovers

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are being stolen to order in the south-west.

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They are unfortunately very stealable.

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With a box of spammers and an hour, you can have one in bits completely.

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Also on the programme - on His Majesty's Secret Service,

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Guy Hamilton directed some of the best Bond movies ever,

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but tonight, we reveal his own spying escapades in wartime

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Hello, I'm Jemma Woodman and welcome to Inside Out South West.

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No rural scene in the south-west would be complete without a mud

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splattered Land Rover but surprisingly,

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they are one of the most stolen cars in England.

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Sunday morning for these Land Rover enthusiasts is a messy affair.

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It is a dirty homage to a cherished off-road car.

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They are an iconic British vehicle, a workhorse for the army

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and for farmers and also a whole generation of families

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Some of these Land Rovers are worth north of ?50,000.

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Lovingly built and tinkered with over decades.

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To their owners, these vehicles are much more than just a car.

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The problem is, to organised gangs of car thieves,

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the Land Rover has become a top target.

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We have a couple of Facebook pages to give people

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information about the club. Always somebody coming

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on there, "Please help me, my Land Rover has been stolen."

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So, I mean I would say it is probably once a week.

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So who is stealing the Land Rovers up and down the country?

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Why are they doing it and where are they all going to?

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I had one stolen, 18 months, two years ago, just off the drive

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in the middle of the night. Someone broke into it,

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it disappeared and I never saw it again.

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This one now lives in my garage under lock and key.

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And everything else I've got is well secured.

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They are unfortunately very stealable.

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Stealable, because the last Land Rover Defender rolled off

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the Solihull production line in January 2016.

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Since then, this car has become one of the most stolen

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The NFU Mutual Insurance company saw a surge in theft claims

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When you buy a Land Rover, you're not buying a car,

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It is the heart and soul that people put into these vehicles.

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It is not just a car that people drive, it is a car that

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Sometimes it has been passed down the family.

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And the impact for these people when they have had it stolen,

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it is like losing your dog, it is not nice.

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This Land Rover was the pride and joy of the Leicestershire Police

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until the thieves took it apart overnight.

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It was parked outside a local police station.

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All of these stolen Land Rovers have to be going somewhere,

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so what exactly is happening to them?

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Police say high-end vehicles like these Range Rovers

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are being stolen to order and shipped abroad,

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Older, more vintage models are equally as desirable

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to the thieves because Land Rovers were designed to be simple to fix

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out in the field so they can easily be stripped down into parts.

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Parts which are now more valuable because they are

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Because they have stopped making them and the spare parts

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However, with a box of spanners and an hour, you can have

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There is no code stamped on most of the parts so they appear on eBay

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and there is a market unfortunately for stolen bits.

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Jon Rush is a Land Rover mechanic who was hit

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by the thieves last year. As someone who knows

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Land Rovers inside out, I have set him a little challenge.

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How easy is it for the criminals to strip a Land Rover?

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We have come up with a little experiment, we are calling

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The plan is to unbolt parts of the Land Rover until we end up

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with this big pile of bits and as little Land Rover

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Jon firmly believes his beloved Land Rover was stolen to order

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Now, he is going to show us just how easy it is to take

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With the clock ticking and multiple cameras running,

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we will check back in with Jon in a while.

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Henry Mowforth is a mechanic for slightly larger vehicles.

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His Land Rover was special - it was his wedding car.

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We used it to get from the church to the reception, me,

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So I used it all the time because that was my first vehicle.

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It is sort of soul destroying really.

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You have spent all that time with it and now it is just gone.

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Our next victim thinks thieves may have planted a tracking device

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on his Land Rover when it was parked at his local railway station,

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When he drove home, they electronically followed him

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and nicked his Land Rover off the drive.

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It is in the middle of nowhere, so there may well have been

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a tracker put on the car, so they came back whenever

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Nathan Ricketts is a detective on the National Car Squad

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and he knows all the latest tricks and tactics the car

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Have you ever come across cases where the organised car thieves

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are putting tracking devices on commuters' cars at railway

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stations, where they follow them home to steal the vehicle?

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In my experience, I have come across an organised crime group,

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they were particularly selecting the luxury high-end cars.

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They would see them in a car park or parked up at railway

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stations and supermarkets and they would drive into them,

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basically pretended they had an accident and leave a note

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on the windscreen to say, I am really sorry, I have

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clipped your car and caused a bit of damage, my friend runs a paint

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shop, he will repair it for you and get the claim

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on my insurance. So you think, OK, brilliant,

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someone is willing to confess up to their responsibilities.

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So you go and take it there and they do a great job

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of scratch on the bumper or the little dent but they also

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clone a third key and put a tracking device into the vehicle.

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Car crime is now a high-tech business.

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This garage is full of top-end Range Rovers.

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The manufacturers fit all of these cars with at least one tracker

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for the benefit of the owners, but the car gangs have

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They are now using one of these - a magic wand that can sniff out

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the tracker can disable it. I will just turn it up.

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So they will know there is something in the vehicle.

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A tracker? A tracker.

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Now, when people steal a car, they will block the signal

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so they will block any signal coming out of the car, take it somewhere

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safe, take it to a side road or in a unit somewhere

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when they feel safe, they will switch this unit

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on and try to find a tracking device and as soon as they find it,

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Being one step ahead of the thieves is the only way to catch them

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and the latest gadget does just that.

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A tiny, highly intelligent tracker that cannot be sniffed

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What is the product you have come up with?

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That is the point, I would love to be to tell you and show

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you the device but we don't do that. It could be anything on the car.

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It is not one particular unit, it is well hidden,

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It could be in the headlights, it could be anywhere.

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I won't show you any specifications for it so the thieves won't get

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Neil's intelligent tracker is getting results.

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It can run for months and send a signal from inside

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a shipping container. Here police are recovering

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Land Rovers at Southampton docks, just about to be shipped abroad.

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And here they are again, dozens more being recovered,

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They don't just steal the whole car, they will take bits.

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There are shots on the internet of a Lincolnshire Police Land

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Rover taken to bits. Why do they take them to bits?

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If you take the whole car and try to sell it or move it,

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that is still that vehicle and it can still be identified.

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If you take it apart, it reduces the fact it is a vehicle.

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It can look like scrap, or a few car parts, it reduces

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what it is and of course it is a stolen vehicle.

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With stolen Land Rover parts vanishing so quickly,

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police need to catch the criminals in the act.

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That is exactly what happened to these three Land Rover thieves.

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A call from a neighbour led to a quick police

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reaction and last October, this trio were handed prison

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sentences totalling six and a half years in all.

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Back in Jon's barn, how is his attempt to strip a Land Rover

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Now you see it... Now you don't.

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We are done! Land Rover stripped in 60 minutes.

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Are you surprised? I am quite surprised, yes.

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I don't think I would want to do it as a business, though!

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Thank you for letting us make you work very hard.

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Now, put it back together. Thank you.

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He helped create one of cinema's most iconic characters but the life

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of Guy Hamilton in Devon was every bit as exciting as that

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David Stafford has the story of the secret wartime history

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of one of Britain's most celebrated film-makers.

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It's a beautiful June afternoon in Dartmouth.

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Perfect for a little boat trip around the estuary.

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But 70-odd years ago, the blokes boarding boats

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They were Royal Navy sailors, hand-picked for some of the most

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dangerous wartime cloak and dagger missions the Allies ever conducted.

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Dartmouth was the home to a very special Royal Naval outfit -

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And one of the crew would go on to be very famous indeed.

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And the second-in-command on many of those Royal Navy missions

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was a man who went by the name of Hamilton - Guy Hamilton.

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Hamilton would become one of Britain's most

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celebrated film directors - directing four Bond films including

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Goldfinger and the Man with the Golden Gun.

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You have to walk the line between absolute nonsense

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and seriousness and the way to cope with it is a little bit of humour,

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Sadly Guy Hamilton died while we were researching this

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film and few people knew about his wartime exploits that

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were easily as exciting as anything that James Bond got up to.

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And like any good James Bond film, there was even what in less

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enlightened times they used to call a Bond bird or in Guy Hamilton's

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case, two of them who well remember the adventures of Guy.

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Hamilton behind enemy lines in occupied France.

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Now 97 years old, Anne Ropers lives in the French town of Plouha

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on the Brittany coast. Anne remembers Guy Hamilton well.

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She has a photo of him from June 1944.

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But what was Guy Hamilton doing in June, 1944,

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in France, in a cornfield, having a picnic?

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The Royal Navy 15th Flotilla was made up of modified,

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high-speed motor gun boats and motor torpedo boats and operated

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One of its tasks was to drop off supplies to the Resistance in France

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and pick up downed airmen from the beaches of Brittany.

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One of the safe houses used by the French resistance to hide

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Allied airmen before they were rescued from the coast

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The escape route was known as the Shelburne Line.

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The Shelburne Line was one of a series of escape routes that

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crisscrossed France and relied for their continued existence

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But on the 15th June 1944, the entire Brittany operation almost

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fell apart, nearly exposing the Shelburne Line to the Nazis.

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It was a moonless night and a young Guy Hamilton was rowing his surf

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boat with a crew of two into a Brittany beach.

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Hamilton was taking ashore two French resistance agents, returning

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They set off from there, Kingswear in Dartmouth,

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over to France, rowed the French spies ashore, dropped them off,

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When Hamilton and his crew got back out to the pick-up

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They had no option other than to row back to shore.

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Over half a century later and the incident was still fresh

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And now my worries were to get rid of the surf boat

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and try and get as far away from the beach as possible.

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And with good reason - the area was crawling with Germans.

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Plymouth's Honorary French Consul Alain Sibril grew up in Brittany.

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Alain, whose family was involved with the Resistance during the war

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and whose grandfather was burned alive by the Nazis, knows a lot

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Now this was shortly after D-Day on the Normandy beaches just

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about 200-300 miles up that coast, so this place was extremely,

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You can imagine this was a terrible place to be stuck.

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Hamilton knew that he had to find a safe hiding place

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They scrambled up the beach cliffs and wandered

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through the deserted countryside, but there was no one around.

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There was a big apple tree and there was a wire hanging

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across and it was very odd, it was a primitive mine.

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I thought, "I'm glad I did not lean on the wire".

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Hamilton had ridden his luck, but to stay alive he needed

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After two days on the run, Hamilton finally found help

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from a young resistance woman, Marguerite Pierre.

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Now 92, Marguerite helped lead Hamilton to Anne Ropers' safe house.

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After nearly a week on the run Hamilton and his two crew arrived

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Guy Hamilton was very, very aware of the dangers.

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He was very conscious that should something happen to him

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the whole operation would have been in jeopardy.

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Hamilton was aware that the top brass in London would also

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want to know if it was safe to continue to use Bonaparte Beach

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as a rescue point for future operations and of course he also

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wanted to let his shipmates know that he was safe.

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To send word back to London, Hamilton needed

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Swiping a bicycle he pedalled off to see the two French Canadian

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agents that London had installed to manage the Shelburne

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Captain Lucien Dumais and Sergeant Claude Labrosse

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were unimpressed by Hamilton's arrival, but were eventually

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And this is the message that Hamilton managed to get Labrosse

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"Hamilton co OK with an SEO group and will get them out shortly."

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This message was sent from Marguerite

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Marguerite's house was the communications hub

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of the Shelburne Line escape route, it was here that they would wait

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For the French Resistance, it was a constant game of cat

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But with Royal Navy sailors to hide, the stakes were even higher.

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Had the Germans discovered Guy Hamilton and his fellow sailors,

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this would have been extremely dangerous, not only for them,

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but also for the whole network of Resistance fighters.

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The need for total secrecy was paramount, yet the entire

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operation was nearly blown in a scene more reminiscent

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of 'Allo Allo, than James Bond - a game of boules in a local bar.

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They took me down the road to a cafe that had a bowling

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Well that was all right except that it was populated

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by Germans all in uniform, bowling, drinking away.

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And the lads said can we have the bowling

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And they said, yes, yes, and they poured him a drink.

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The cafe was only 500 yards from the safe house,

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so there was only one solution ? get stuck into the cider.

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Hamilton's perfect French had saved him from being discovered

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by the Germans, but he did not escape a roasting from

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Before Hamilton had even arrived at the Ropers,

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rumours had started to circulate about the British

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Hamilton and his fellow sailors Rockwood and Dellow had

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reached the final reel of their own James Bond movie

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After nearly a month on the run in German occupied France,

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finally the call came to make the run home.

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The Maison d'Alphonse was a small farm house and the start

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Under cover of darkness, Hamilton and his crew were led down

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the treacherous cliffs with a clear message from the Resistance leaders

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If there is any fighting to be done you are expected to join in,

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use your fists, knives anything at all.

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Along with Hamilton, and his two crew, four other allied

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airmen were in the rescue party that night.

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A few hours after leaving the beach, Guy Hamilton and his crew

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were back here in Dartmouth, thanks to the extraordinary skill

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and courage of Resistance operatives like Marguerite and Anne.

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Just ten days after he had escaped, the Shelburne Line was uncovered

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by the Nazis, the Maison d'Alphonse was torched.

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But the Shelburne Line had been a success.

:27:53.:27:55.

The escape route saved the lives of 135 airmen,

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two sailors and one future director of James Bond films.

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Sincil Bank that item, and Robles has finally passed away but we were

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very grateful she shared her amazing story with us. Thank you. Next week,

:28:19.:28:29.

pastors and pedicures, the man who keeps cattle in trim. I do like it,

:28:30.:28:39.

it makes them look nice. I was going to get buffed myself but on second

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thoughts, that is on Monday at 7:30pm. I will see you then.

:28:44.:29:01.

Hello, I'm Riz Lateef with your 90-second update.

:29:02.:29:04.

Overcrowded - the number of patients on wards in England have been

:29:05.:29:07.

at unsafe levels in nine out of ten hospitals this winter.

:29:08.:29:11.

The untold story of James Bond director - and Devon-based spy - Guy Hamilton, who worked with the French Resistance in World War II.