A German WWII veteran emerged from Parkhurst Forest on the Isle of Wight after remaining hidden since 1945. Private Wilfried Kapteina was eventually discovered after taking bird watchers, Brian and Shirley Dickenson captive after they had stopped to enjoy a flask of tea.
“We’d just sat down on a very neat stack of Scots pine logs when Shirley spotted a World War II German helmet poking up from a ditch,” said Mr Dickenson. “We were very perturbed when an elderly Waffen SS soldier leapt up and started waving his rusty bayonet at us.”
After demanding to see their papers, 87 year old Kapteina frog marched the pair to an underground shelter where he held them for 17 days.
On the eighteenth day concerned relatives contacted police who discovered the couple’s Ford Ka on the Pay & Display car park. Police superintendent, Bill Willoughby said, “I instructed my team to spit up and follow two themed trails which take the walker along pleasant contrasting routes through the forest. It was on the Red Squirrel Walk that they stumbled upon a tartan patterned vacuum flask.”
Hearing a muffled chorus of German wartime favourite ‘Lili Marlene’ coming from underground, officers discovered the entrance to the shelter. In the pitched battle that followed officers managed to deflect two dud stick grenades and a rusty tin of sauerkraut before arresting Kapteina and releasing his prisoners.
A relieved Mr Dickenson said, “It was hell. He firmly believed his former comrades would one day return for him. I think he was just startled by the sight of other humans after so many years on his own, and that’s why he took us prisoner. My schmattering of German helped a little and Shirley quite enjoyed the singing when things started getting us down.”
As police led Kapteina away they told him that he had in fact been on the Isle of Wight for 67 years and not mainland Britain. He begged them to kill him there and then.
Isle of Wight council chiefs are now investigating whether or not they have a case to make a claim against the veteran for six decades of unpaid council tax.