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Thread: The little ships.

  1. #1
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    Default The little ships.

    BBC 4 last night repeated the Little ships, the story of the evacuation of the B.E.F. from Dunkirk in WW2.
    It is on iPlayer if you missed it, excellent program with some fantastic veterans memories of the event.
    Rgds
    J.A.

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    Most people know the story of the evacuation of Dunkirk and "Operation Dynamo" and the incredible part played by the "little ships" but again the Merchant Navy seems to have been overlooked. Fifty three coasters, small railway ferries and paddle steamers made over one hundred successful trips to the beaches at Dunkirk, rescuing over 91,000, which was about one third of the total, with the ex Mersey ferry Royal Daffodil making seven successful trips, rescuing over 7,500 men, whilst receiving a direct hit from a Stuka dive bomber on the final trip home. Patching the hole up with mattresses, she limped safely into port. This was not the end of the evacuations either. Dunkirk was soon followed by "Operation Cycle" and "Operation Ariel I & II" where the Merchant Navy rescued a further 200,000 troops and civilians over the coming months.
    "Across the seas where the great waves grow, there are no fields for the poppies to grow, but its a place where Seamen sleep, died for their country, for you and for peace" (Billy McGee 2011)

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arton View Post
    BBC 4 last night repeated the Little ships, the story of the evacuation of the B.E.F. from Dunkirk in WW2.
    It is on iPlayer if you missed it, excellent program with some fantastic veterans memories of the event.
    Rgds
    J.A.
    Stirling stuff amazing stories of bravery and determination. My mother lost her first boyfriend at Dunkirk sadly, but that they managed to get so many home was nothing short of miraculous.

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    My mothers cousin was married to a guy from Weymouth and his family used their fishing boat to bring back, as he said it, about 100 from the beaches in a few trips across.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    My first wife's father, my ex father-in-law, was captured at Dunkirk and was a P.O.W. for the duration. His daughter was born shortly after his capture and he didn't see her until liberated and demobed. He passed away at age 49. His premature death was attributed to the strain of captivity.

    Rodney

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    A special breed of men.

    "Lest we Forget"

    Keith.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Mills View Post
    My first wife's father, my ex father-in-law, was captured at Dunkirk and was a P.O.W. for the duration. His daughter was born shortly after his capture and he didn't see her until liberated and demobed. He passed away at age 49. His premature death was attributed to the strain of captivity.

    Rodney
    My father didn't see my elder sister until they arrived via a bride ship when she was 3 yrs old. As usual there were dock strikes in Perth where they arrived so he managed to get my mother and sister onto a train , he met them on Central station.
    As she had never met our dad she apparently cried " he's not my daddy". She had been used to living with my mother's father in Southampton.

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    Victoria.

    I had a similar problem. I was evacuated to Yorkshire in 1942 when I was 4-5 years old. I had a vague recollection of my mother and none of my father who was enlisted/drafted in 1940. I remembered none of my grand-parents, aunts or uncles. My mother had left my father.

    In 1945 I was told my father was coming to collect me from the family in Yorkshire I was living with. I had a photo of a man in an army uniform who I was told was my father. I remember waiting at the top of the lane were I lived for a soldier to come. A man finally walked up the lane in civvies. He stopped and said "Are you Rodney?" When I said I was he told me he was my dad. I remember it clearly as it was the first time I shook hands with someone.

    Before I knew it I arrived in the London train station and an ancient woman with a gold tooth, hugged a kissed me (she would have been about 45-50). It was my maternal grand-mother, then came a bunch of people who, I was told, were grandad and aunts and uncles.

    Because of the housing shortage my father had no choice but to move in with his in-laws. Nine in a council house in north London and me, used to Yorkshire country speech, and me speaking with a Yorkshire accent, talk about being overwhelmed.

    I lived there for about three years then moved again to similar situation.

    The Merch, with changing ships and crews never was a problem. Sadly, looking back, I can remember faces and tales, but not names of many of the guys (who I liked) whom I shared a cabin, a brew, and adventures with....I wonder why?

    Rodney

    ps. My maternal family name is Moss too.
    Last edited by Rodney Mills; 17th May 2019 at 10:00 PM.

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    Hi Rod.
    What are the chances you are related way back?
    Des

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    Default Re: The little ships.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Mills View Post
    Victoria.

    I had a similar problem. I was evacuated to Yorkshire in 1942 when I was 4-5 years old. I had a vague recollection of my mother and none of my father who was enlisted/drafted in 1940. I remembered none of my grand-parents, aunts or uncles. My mother had left my father.

    In 1945 I was told my father was coming to collect me from the family in Yorkshire I was living with. I had a photo of a man in an army uniform who I was told was my father. I remember waiting at the top of the lane were I lived for a soldier to come. A man finally walked up the lane in civvies. He stopped and said "Are you Rodney?" When I said I was he told me he was my dad. I remember it clearly as it was the first time I shook hands with someone.

    Before I knew it I arrived in the London train station and an ancient woman with a gold tooth, hugged a kissed me (she would have been about 45-50). It was my maternal grand-mother, then came a bunch of people who, I was told, were grandad and aunts and uncles.

    Because of the housing shortage my father had no choice but to move in with his in-laws. Nine in a council house in north London and me, used to Yorkshire country speech, and me speaking with a Yorkshire accent, talk about being overwhelmed.

    I lived there for about three years then moved again to similar situation.

    The Merch, with changing ships and crews never was a problem. Sadly, looking back, I can remember faces and tales, but not names of many of the guys (who I liked) whom I shared a cabin, a brew, and adventures with....I wonder why?

    Rodney

    ps. My maternal family name is Moss too.
    Interesting, maybe we are related. My husbands father was called Fred. We think he was illegitimate as he never spoke of family. After he died another cousin did some research and thinks Fred was in a workhouse when he was a child. He was married to another woman for 12 yrs before he divorced and married my mother-in-law Gladys. Her last name was Woodward. She came from Ramsgate in Kent but met Fred when they were on reserved operations on a dairy farm up north somewhere. Fred didn't enlist because of this. My husband is an only child. You never know would be nice to have some other connection over there as both my husband's parents have died. He only has one cousin left now who lives in Ramsgate.

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