Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dunkirk 70 years on

Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk, which began on May 27th 1940 has been marked by a flotilla of little ships that left Ramsgate this morning to make the crossing, taking with them some who will take part in ceremonies and services in France.

Pictures from the Mail.

And a timely reminder, also from the Mail, that the 338,000 troops might not have been able to get back to Britain had not some stayed behind to deter the advancing German Army.

Read about them here

The aftermath of the Le Paradis massacre, which saw 97 British prisoners killed after surrendering to SS troops on May 27, 1940.

Which is why, even today, the survivors shed a tear - for their friends who didn't make if off the beaches, and those whose lives were sacrificed so others could get home.

Nobody, anywhere, has the right to tell men like these to 'forget' and 'move on'.

They are the ones who had the courage to go back, on or close to D-Day, and face what had previously beaten them.

And they did. And they won.

The men pictured are in their early nineties now. They were not always old, they would have been a little more than twenty at the time of their escape from the beaches of Dunkirk.


Not many people seem to mention the other two major evacuations of 1940.

Operation Cycle, which saw 11,000 British and Allied forces evacuated from 10th June onwards, and Operation Ariel which between 14th and 25th June managed to get 215,000 Allied soldiers out of France through Cherbourg and St Malo.

Evacuations ended with the signing of the French armistice on 25th June.

More about Operation Dynamo here


Witterings From Witney said...

"Nobody, anywhere, has the right to tell men like these to 'forget' and 'move on'."

Could not agree more Mrs. R; neither does anyone have the right to tell us, when we query membership of the EU, state control and loss of our freedoms that we should 'forget' and 'move on'!

Nice post as usual!

Mrs Rigby said...