I watched Dunkirk yesterday. I felt like I was there. I do have a strong connection with events at Dunkirk. My uncle was rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. He only just made it on to a boat. He had been told to wait by an officer but the officer had never returned (who knows what may have happened to him).
My uncle had ended up having to swim for a boat. My grandmother who had never been able to swim, used to say how her brother’s ability to swim had saved him. His daughter has also very kindly filled me in on more details. My uncle had arrived back in England and had then walked many miles to my grandmother’s house. She would always vividly recall the sudden unexpected arrival of her brother, who was in an understandably bedraggled state.
I also believe relatives of mine went out in those tiny boats to rescue the soldiers. I wanted to walk out of the cinemaŕ at one point, as it was so real for me. We were right at the back of the cinema, explosions booming in our ears. I kept thinking how loud the reality would have been for them. Events at Dunkirk have somehow ingrained themselves in my soul and I just knew that film was telling the truth. It is nice that the film depicted some French soldiers giving cover so the British to escape. I probably had French family helping The British escape. I know of at least one French connection who was in The Resistance and who had almost faced the firing squad.
Dunkirk 1940 -How The French Army Saved GB
( I know in my family there was more anger towards the French over the capitulation than towards the Germans.)
I understand that in a way. It is far worse when friends let you down than dealing with someone you know is your enemy. I do think however the French had reason to be angry too. I gather Churchill had had to sink some French ships and their crews to stop them falling into German hands. War leaves a lot of scars.
French Surrender To WW2 German Chancellor.
Source: British Pathe
Petain, the French leader is regarded as a traitor by his countrymen, as I understand it.
An actual Dunkirk veteran reacts to the film Dunkirk
We Will Fight Them on The Beaches – Winston Churchill
Veterans commemorate the 70th anniversary on the beaches of Dunkirk
My spirit soared when I saw the spitfires. (How much do I love those planes and their heroic pilots) and again when the soldiers saw the armada of tiny boats appear on the horizon. I was surprised to learn that the soldiers may have been concerned about the reception they would receive in England. If my Grandmother was anything to go by, people were just relieved to have them home again. The film reminded me of the true courage and heroism of these ordinary people., who were prepared to head off to a war zone in tiny little boats, to rescue their countrymen
Dunkirk veterans 70th anniversary reunion which took place in 2010.
This Dunkirk veteran’s recounting of events and of having carried a stretcher containing an injured man on board a boat, seems eerily similar to a scene in the film.
Dunkirk veteran talks about rescuing an injured soldier
Another Dunkirk veteran speaks movingly of events
What a relief it must have been for many to seeThe White Cliffs of Dover once more.
Sadly War is always a tragic business. It is certainly not A GAME
We Will Fight Them On The Bwaches – Winston Churchill (4th June 1940)
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