DUNKIRK: THE SPIRIT LIVES ON; DUNKIRK REMEMBERED.FOR the last time they will slowly retrace their steps down to the beaches of Dunkirk to collect grains of sand to sprinkle over the graves of their comrades who didn't make it home.
It's a simple, but fitting tribute by the last surviving members of the Coventry branch of the Dunkirk Veterans Association who 60 years ago marched towards the sea, driven back by Hitler's troops.
As the Germans advanced through Belgium and northern France, a desperate rearguard rearguard
1. the troops who protect the rear of a military formation
2. rearguard action an effort to prevent or postpone something that is unavoidable
Noun 1. action was fought to try to hold them off from the Allied troops being squeezed into Dunkirk and onto its surrounding beaches.
Close to exhaustion, they dug into the sand dunes in a desperate attempt to escape death or capture. There seemed no hope.
But in the closing days of May 1940, every available boat in the south- east of England The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. was sent across the Channel in an amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. operation which may well have saved Britain from defeat.
An Armada An earlier brand name for laptop computers from Compaq. The line was noted for its quality and innovative features. of small ships and naval vessels rescued some 340,000 Allied troops this week 60 years ago.
For veterans like Bill Harvey For the CIA officer Bill Harvey, see .
William "Bill" Harvey (born 12 April 1896, Shirley, Southampton, died 1970) was an English football (soccer) player and manager. Playing career
Harvey played for Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham and Southend United. and Rolph Cooke, returning to Dunkirk is a chance to remember their pals who were among the 68,000 killed, wounded or missing.
"I am always looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. the graves of the battery we lost," said 80- year-old Bill, from Coventry, a gunner in the 140 Field Regiment Royal Artillery “RGA” redirects here. For other uses, see RGA (disambiguation).
The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is an Arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it is made up of a number of regiments. .
Some memories have either faded with time or been deliberately blocked out, too horrific to recall. Those who remember their darkest hours do so with pain and tears.
"I cried like a baby on that beach," said Albert Dunne, wiping away the tears from his eyes. The driver with the Royal Army Service Corps The Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) was a former corps of the British Army. It was responsible for land, coastal and lake transport; air despatch; supply of food, water, fuel, and general domestic stores such as clothing, furniture and stationery (but not ammunition and was just 19.
Seventy-nine-year-old Albert, from Coventry, will return to that beach for the last time this weekend after which the Dunkirk Veterans Association will be wound up. The local branch which once had around 300 members now has only 19.
They will never meet on the beaches again, but the Dunkirk spirit Dunkirk spirit is a phrase used to describe the tendency of the British public to pull together and overcome times of adversity. It came into use following the evacuation of allied troops across the English Channel when Royal Navy ships were augmented by flotillas of pleasure will undoubtedly live on.
On the last boat to leave the beaches of Hell ON January 2nd 1940, I was told I was on the advance party for France. Towards the end of April we heard the Germans were preparing to invade Belgium and Holland so we set off into Belgium.
"We proceeded to Brussels and we were met with lines of people waving, shaking our hands and giving us flowers. Our journey further on, we were met with dismay. There were dead and injured refugees who were fleeing their homes. They had been machine gunned by German fighter planes to slow our advance and cause confusion.
"The French medics Med´ics
n. 1. Science of medicine. were putting a lot of them out of their agony, some with half their bodies blown to bits. As a 20-year-old who had never seen a dead person, this stuck in my memory and will until the end of my days.
"After about two days the unit had put up in a wood on the outskirts of Brussels when news came through the Germans had broken through the Maginot Line Maginot Line (măzh`ĭnō, Fr. mäzhēnō`), system of fortifications along the eastern frontier of France, extending from the Swiss border to the Belgian. and were coming towards us. We were told to pack everything.
"I thought good. We're going to fight them and stop them, but no. We were ordered to pull back and make towards Ostend which we did in great haste. The Germans were advancing in large numbers and there were no Belgian or French forces to be seen.
"I was sent to a map reference which was supposed to be divisional headquarters to await further instructions "Further Instructions" is the third episode of the third season of Lost. It aired on October 18, 2006, making it the 50th episode of the series. The episode was written by Carlton Cuse and Elizabeth Sarnoff and directed by Stephen Williams. . I found the commander who told me I must stay as the Warwicks were in the thick of it and he didn't know where they were.
"We pulled away towards La Panne panne
A special finish for velvet and satin that produces a high luster.
[French, a soft cloth, from Old French penne, pane, fur lining, from Latin pinna, penna, but when we got near we were told the Germans were only half a mile away so we were moved off towards Dunkirk. It turned out that my regiment were doing a rear guard action in La Panne to allow the other troops to get to Dunkirk.
"At the beach we were told to destroy our motorcycle engine A motorcycle engine is an engine found in a motorcycle, which serves to propel the motorcycle. The motor typically sits immediately under the fuel tank, in between and just forward of the rider's legs. , cut our tyres and push the bikes into the sea. This was heart-breaking, but orders were orders. The Germans started shelling us and the planes bombing us. If they could see us, they machine gunned us.
"However, we stayed in the sand dunes for two days watching the rest trying to get boats which were being machine gunned and bombed. A lot were sunk.
"On June 3rd we were told no more boats would be coming so later at the end of the afternoon we tried to get a boat. The navy were collecting the empty small boats and bringing them close to the shore. I waded out and got one and brought it in to the shore.
"A lot of bodies dived in and as we sailed off, the weight of the overladen o·ver·lad·en
Loaded or burdened too heavily.
Adj. 1. overladen - loaded past capacity
overloaded boat got stuck on a sand bank. Silly me. I jumped over to push it off and immediately sunk into the sea and the boat sailed off without me.
"However, a sergeant major saw what had happened and plucked pluck
v. plucked, pluck·ing, plucks
1. To remove or detach by grasping and pulling abruptly with the fingers; pick: pluck a flower; pluck feathers from a chicken. me from the water. He said 'Stay with me young 'un and you get in the next boat with me'. Another boat was brought close in and he got it. With his revolver in his hand he said 'I want 12 men only in this boat and the 13th watch out'. All the others backed away because so many boats had capsized with the weight of too many people.
"We rowed out to a ship and clambered up the side of it on nets thrown over the side. The boat was crowded with troops and I slumped down on the deck, feeling tired, bedraggled and really sorry for myself when this sergeant major said 'Cheer up young 'un. You're in the army now'. Didn't I know it.
"Then a sailor came round with a loaf, half a pound of butter and a tin of bully beef which we ate ravenously rav·en·ous
1. Extremely hungry; voracious.
2. Rapacious; predatory.
3. Greedy for gratification: ravenous for power. See Synonyms at voracious. . He said 'Next stop Margate, if Jerry misses us'.
"I could hear the drone of planes and bombs but apart from being straffed a couple of times we got to Margate at about 4.30am on June 4 and found we were the last boat to leave from there."
THEY say a shell never hits the same hole. There was this fellow. He dived into this hole. They started shelling again and he got hit. He had part of his arm blown off. He cried 'Please help me'.
"A captain of the medical corps, who was covered from head to toe with blood, told us lads to dig into Verb 1. dig into - examine physically with or as if with a probe; "probe an anthill"
poke into, probe
penetrate, perforate - pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance; "The bullet penetrated her chest" the dunes. I turned around and this fellow just died. They put a blanket over him and we dug into the dunes.
"It was terrible, really terrible. I cried like a baby and I said prayers.
"When I finally went out to wade, I just collapsed with exhaustion. I couldn't swim. The next thing I knew, two sailors had pulled me out of the water. They took my rifle off me and through it to one side.
"It's something I will never forget."
WE had been in continuous action for three weeks with very little sleep and not much in the way of food either. We thought we were doing all right.
"They wanted an artillery battery In military science, a battery is a unit of artillery guns, mortars, or rockets, so grouped in order to facilitate battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion. with 12 guns to go to a place some miles from Dunkirk. This was going to be the last suicide, do or die. The day before, the Germans had caught our gun flashes and knocked out three of our guns.
"Our commanding officer was a First World War veteran, a blood and thunder Blood And Thunder A Mortiis Ep. Written and recorded in one day, it was released by Primitive Art Records, as a limited edition of 500 numbered and signed copies. It came on purple vinyl with a poster.
7" purple vinyl EP, hand-numbered to 500 copies. merchant. He was desperate to go, but the other battery went because we only had nine guns. They fought to the last.
"Out of the blue, we had this order to blow up the guns. Our commanding officer could not believe it.
"My gun tower carried six people. We were told to make our own way to Dunkirk with as few vehicles as possible because of the refugee congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. . They chose my vehicle because it was fuelled up. I had seven other drivers with me. I could only seat five, but there was a hatch on the top so two of them sat up there.
"We had to go a round about route to avoid the German advance. We started off late afternoon and we got to Dunkirk about 24 hours later. On the way, we picked up an ambulance that had broken down.
"We got as far as about 15km from Dunkirk. There was just all this debris of war abandoned in the lane, so we had to walk.
"The thing which is a nightmare to me is that we had to leave the ambulance. We were constantly diving into ditches because of Stukas.
"There was a warrant officer on the beach near the harbour. He numbered us into groups of 50. That night, a destroyer came in and it took five groups of 50 men. I thought well that's the end.
"They could only get a destroyer in at high tide, but the next morning we got one. We moved up in fifties out of our bomb holes. Jerry was bombing all the time.
"The warrant officer would shout 'Number One group' and you would make a quick dash. You didn't go in a line because it was too dangerous.
"The next thing, we landed at Dover. We were among the last to be evacuated. My family told me later that I had been reported missing."