A French artist called Roger Murrell who escaped from France at the beginning of the war lived in the Hackfall Inn Grewelthorpe in 1952.
The 30 year old came to Yorkshire to paint. He came for a month but liked it so much he stayed on. It was in the Summer of 1940 that he and 14 others escaped from Marseilles. They attached themselves to a convoy leaving for Oran. Fearing they would be discovered, they broke away from the convoy and made it to Gibraltar. Their arrival in an Italian ship stolen from France caused problems for the British authorities. Eventually they pleaded that they just wanted to reach England and they were allowed to join another convoy. They eventually reached Liverpool with a valuable cargo or useful materials and bombs.
Roger joined the RAF after training in Canada and served as a pilot with Special Operations and subsequently in Transport command. After his demob in 1946 he returned to Marseilles.
Ref. Yorkshire Evening Post May 1952.
If you can add anything to this story, please contact me. B.Bradley