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DUNKIRK: Codename "Dynamo"
Arthur Matthews 

 

Our Dunkirk Veterans Association was founded in 1953 by eleven veterans in Leeds, England. Leeds remains our H.Q. and in 1953 our first subscription was Two Shillings and Sixpence.

Our association could prove to be a briefly lived one as most of us were regular soldiers in our 20s and older when we formed the B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Forces) in 1939. One of these was a Mr Eddie Foulkes D.C.M. M. M. a founding member of the association. It was to him that Mr Churchill said, 'We do not strike medals for defeats." So, in consequence, no medal was struck for this campaign, although at one time it was supposed the 1939/45 War Medal was intended but then rescinded. Therefore it was in gratitude that the Dunkirk Council in France instituted the medal that today is worn with pride by those men who fought and held firm under the holocaust which was Dunkirk.

Ours was no defeat! DUNKIRK and all that went before the beaches was a close, intense battle in which no quarter was asked and none given. Our only defeat was having to face an enemy with an army of tanks and infantry unprecedented in warfare for its size and so enormous that when it started its avalanche from the German frontier on 10th May, 1940, it stretched back in three columns for 100 miles. This mass of steel and fire was preceded by waves of Stuka dive bombers which gave no respite until we reached our own shores - some defeat!

Today, we of those who are left form an association which is held together by camaraderie and a spirit second to none amongst returned men. Our age and experiences in other wars are now taking their toll and our ranks are being depleted almost as fast as the withering fire of our one time enemy, but that spirit of understanding, sympathy and comradeship will continue until the last note of the Last Post, the last grain of DUNKIRK sand is put on the coffin of our last comrade.

All members of the DUNKIRK Association have to swear allegiance to the ROYAL Family as we do when we enlist in the British Services. So as I finish this I say, "GOD BLESS THE QUEEN." I personally will always be a Royalist regardless of what happens in this country.

A. J. Matthews 7883399
ex Royal Tank Regiment
01/01/1985

 

 

ABOVE: Taking a Break in 1934
Rest Camp in Alexandria, Egypt

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UPDATED: 25 December 2013

tracingourhistory.com 2013