A special ceremony held on Monday at Barrie's courthouse honoured a local veteran.

It was 75 years ago that allied soldiers escaped a German POW camp during the Second World War. Among those was Penetanguishene’s Alfred B. Thompson.

Thompson served with Britain's Royal Air Force and was captured after his plane went down over Germany in 1939.

He was the first Canadian to be taken prisoner because Canada hadn’t officially joined the war until the next day.

Thompson was one of 76 prisoners who escaped a German POW camp in Poland through a human-made tunnel only to be recaptured days later. He remained a prisoner, spending nearly every day of the war in captivity until the war ended.

After the war, Thompson returned to Canada, raised eight children and worked at the Barrie courthouse as the assistant to the Crown Attorney until he retired in 1980.

He passed away in 1985.

Today, the courthouse unveiled a framed display with Thompson’s pictures and biography to commemorate the anniversary of the Great Escape.

The Thompson family and court staff hopes that future generations will never forget the contribution of our Canadian soldiers.