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The Dunkirk spirit - Carers UK Forum

The Dunkirk spirit

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ARK ROYAL and other R.N. ships will be sent to DUNKIRK & Calais to repatriate thousands of stranded holiday makers ,,,,
As usual this got me thinking , on the 1st of Jan 1940 STAN and his company 232 landed at Cherbourge , then onto Aras France , but his world was turned upside down when the Germans invaded Belgium on the 10th may 1940 , it`s the 70th anniversary of the DUNKIRK retreat / withdrawal?? this year , some 350-000 members of the B.E.F. were evacuated from DUNKIRK and 64-000 were taken P.O.W. and spent the next 5 years as P.O.W.`s working as slave labourers in the stalags in southern Poland .. STAN used to get so annoyed when M.P`s or for that matter anyone who would talk about the "DUNKIRK SPIRIT " sure getting the lads off the beech with the help of the civilians was great, but the radio message that STAN and his company receiveved said " it`s every man for himself if you retreat to DUNKIRK" STAN and many others chose not to retreat but to stand and fight , he often wondered if he made the right decission ....

In 1979 the old doll decided to give STAN a suprise, she booked up for a long weekend in DUNKIRK and when they were on the ferry she asked him , "STAN during the war what one place did you want to get to " "PARIS" said STAN " hard lines were going to DUNKIRK "


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old doll and Emily DUNKIRK MEMORIAL AUGUST 2009
My FIL was a gunner who worked the big guns in Singapore, the ones that pointed out to sea. Of course its now history that the Japanese invaded down the Malay peninsula. By the time they got to Singapore, they tactical situation was excellent - our troops were fresh, well provisioned and willing to fight, and they received a memo from the CIC saying "we will fight to the bitter end".

But strategically the Japanese were pushing all before them, and we had little air power, whilst we had also lost out finest battleships.

A week later, they got another memo from the CIC, saying "Surrender now" - they were pretty furious, because there were very few Japanese troops and they were exhausted, whilst our lads were fresh and willing to fight. Anyway, the rest is history; of the 130,000 men captured, only a few thousand ever made it home, the rest were tortured, executed, starved to death or died of perfectly treatable diseases on the Burma railway. It was one of the worst military defeats in British history - complete and total humiliation. Those responsible were never held to true account. Lions led by donkeys. What we should have done was what the Russians did at Stalingrad - fought to the bitter end. But I dont think the British generals believed that they would be treated so badly - it was the old Public School head in the sand attitude.
I am still at odds with the M.O.D. re "compensation " for the European ex P.O.W.`s ( or widows) as you know our government (thanks to Tony Blair) not the Japanese government, paid each far east P.O.W. or widow £10-000 "compensation" the M.O.D. dont like to use the word compensation, anywho this payment was as a result of years of campaigning by both the far east p.o.w`s U.K. and the Australian far east p.o.w.`s, about 5 years ago the Australian government decided to have a Royal commission to look into the claims that the European P.O.W`s should also have been compensated , the commission reported that the European P.O.W.`s suffered similar hardships as the far east p.o.w`s and reported that many Europeand P.O.W`s were held captive for 5 years , The vetertans minister BRUCE BILSON decided to accept the report and 3 years ago the Australians paid their European ex P.O.W`s or widows 20-000 A$ (£10-000) .
Through our veterans groups we then asked for a similar compensation payment to be made to the U.K. European ex P.O.W`s , sadly no joy we are still campaigning, but the odds are stacked against us , in my last letter from the M.O.D. they pointed out the % death rate from far east to Europe , in other words they have said not enough died in Europe , the fight goes on .....

held to account, STANS cousin BILLY NESS parachute regiment wounded at ARNHEM was with the execution squads both in Germany and Singapore , he witnessed hundreds of executions some as late as 1949 ...
My Dad and 2 of my uncle's were in the european campaign in WW2 one of my Mum's cousins got killed in the middle east and one lost his life on the Burma railway.

And 12 close members of Pat's and my family as far as we know it might have been more lost there life's in WW1.

And my cousin was injured in the Suez's crisis in 1956.

And Pat's cousin was injured in the Falklands war HMS Ardent when it was bombed.

So wars carry on no change there when will it all stop.
John
It will stop when politicians are forced to go and fight themselves, rather than sending our brave troops in. But to be fair, sometimes we have little alternative, when people like Galtieri and Osama Bin Laden start them, we are forced to defend ourselves as best we can. Suez was totally unjustified, as was Iraq. Whilst Afghanistan is six of one, half a dozen of the other, I cant make my mind up, but I dont think we can win, its a messy police action like northern Ireland, in the end it will be solved by jaw jaw, not war war.