He was born in Melbourne, Victoria and educated at North Sydney Boys High School. Brickhill worked as a journalist before World War II, and during the war was a fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force. He was shot down over Tunisia in 1943, and taken prisoner of war by the Germans. Brickhill witnessed the preparation of, and the consequences of, the mass escape from Stalag Luft III (Known as the Great Escape). Brickhill was barred from participating in the actual escape due to claustrophobia although he was active in implementing the plan. He subsequently documented the escape in The Great Escape (New York: Norton, 1950).
Three books by Brickhill were made into movies:
Welcome to Stalag Luft III ...and the Grim Reality Makes Steve McQueen's Version Look like CenterParcs; as the 60th Anniversary of the Great Escape Approaches, Frank Barrett Discovers What Remains of the Infamous Polish PoW Camp
Dec 14, 2003; Byline: FRANK BARRETT A SMALL sign pointed the way down a flat, unmade road that ran through a forest of spindly trees. It was...