Saturday, 29 May 2010

70 years ago

I can't let the Dunkirk 70th year commemorations go by today without remembering Dad's war. So I've created this digital page. Dad was one of the soldiers who didn't get home in the frantic evacuation from those tragic beaches. His unit was with the rearguard, trying to keep at bay the German forces determined to stop the rescue of the BEF. Dad was a Gunner in the 101st Light/Antitank and Aircraft Regiment of the Royal Artillery and one of the very few facts I was able to extract from him (he never wanted to speak of the war) was the memory of their antitank shells simply "bouncing off" German tanks. He was taken prisoner near St Valery, France on 12 June 1940 and the following years included the forced march of POWs to camps in Poland, 5 years slave labour on the land and in railway yards, and finally another forced march into Germany in the freezing and snow-covered January of 1945, with no food or shelter, keeping ahead of the advancing Allied forces, before eventual liberation in June and return home.
For many years I've been searching for Dad's fellow POW mate Artie from those times. Artie and Dad kept in touch after the war even though Artie lived in London and Dad was in North Wales. Artie and his wife June visited and Mum and Dad visited them. I know that they named their son Leslie after Dad. Leslie and I were born in 1948 and here we are sharing a pram in our back garden. And here's another portrait of Leslie - just look at those bonny legs! Unfortunately Mum, the only one left now who remembers Artie, can't remember his surname, so my search is almost impossible. I don't even know if Artie is his proper name. But I'm still in hope of finding him as I've posted his photo and my request for information in many places I think he or his son might see it. Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone reading this knew of his whereabouts!


  1. What an interesting post Ann. Your poor Father being a POW for all those years - wouldn't it be wonderful to find Artie or Leslie - wishing you luck.

  2. Thank you for the lovely and interesting history on your father. This being Memorial Day weekend in the States, we are all aware of the tole that the war took on all those servicemen and women involved and we should never forget their time and sacrifice. Have a wonderful weekend, and best of luck in your continued search for Artie.

  3. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us Ann. As Lynn has stated, we are celebrating Memorial Day in the U.S. on Monday to remember all the men & women who have served in the Armed Forces. I hope you locate Artie - best of luck.

  4. such a tender and caring post. I felt great discomfort as I read what your father lived, that is so hard. These photos are amazing.

  5. I wish you all the best for your research Ann.
    Thank you for telling us about your father's story. It is a shame to see how this horrible war has stil left so many scars on us all.


  6. my grandpa was a soldier in Normandy, he was captured by Germans, escaped on a bicycle and ... When I was 10 or so, we - the whole familly (grandad, grandma and his three sons with families) - went to Normandy, to search the places where he was, to see the beach...... he told us stories...

    I hope you'll find Artie or his son.

  7. It's a wonderful account of your Dad's war.....

  8. I wish you good luck, Ivor Lipscombe a friends father also suffered the POW long march, post from sept 2008. Linda


Thank you so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment - its hugely appreciated. Ann :o)


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