WWII: Dunkirk Evacuation | How the 'little ships' helped rescue the Allied troops
Document Type | Internal Memo
06 June 1940
Following her memo of 4 June 1940, Mary Somerville writes to the Assistant Controller of Programmes and the Assistant Controller (Home) about another incident highlighting the difficulties endured by broadcasters as a result of poorly established lines of communication with the War Office. She points out that, as the organisation of wartime broadcasting is so new and urgent, there isn't time for efficient work practices to be developed. There is also the difficulty of the military establishment not fully appreciating the art of scriptwriting or realising that security issues can be managed without resorting to full-scale censorship.
The phrase 'the blimpiest of Blimps' is a reference to the cartoon character Colonel Blimp, who featured in the 'Evening Standard' in the 1930s and 1940s. This was a satirical cartoon created by David Low that characterised a certain type of military man as pompous, incompetent and susceptible to a heartfelt but unthinking patriotism. In 1943, a more sympathetic version of the character featured in the war film 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp'.
Winston Churchill makes his first prime ministerial broadcast.
An appeal for Dunkirk recruits on behalf of the government.
Bernard Stubbs reports on the returning troops.
Rt Hon Anthony Eden recounts the events of the 'battle for the ports'.
Ed Murrow reports on his visit to a fighter airfield.
Four members of the BEF describe their retreat to Calais and Dunkirk.
Reporter Ed Murrow hears Churchill's speech in the Commons.
JB Priestley pays homage to the small boats of Dunkirk.
The shipping minister recounts the past few days at Dunkirk.
A Pathe news cameraman describes Dunkirk.
The role of Margate's lifeboats in the Dunkirk evacuation.
A Thames tugboat master describes how he helped with the Dunkirk operation.
The captain of the Royal Daffodil recounts being bombed.
Commander Lightoller is interviewed by Charles Gardner.
Memories of Dunkirk by those who were there.
A member of the crew aboard HMS Malcolm recounts the evacuation at Dunkirk.
A senior officer's account of Dunkirk.
A former sergeant speaks about his dramatic escape from Dunkirk.
Recollections of those who took part at Dunkirk on shore, in the air and at sea.
Former French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud is interviewed about Dunkirk.
One man relives the darker moments of Dunkirk.
Dunkirk veterans from north-east England remember the evacuation.
Survivors share their memories of the Wormhoudt massacre.
Richard Holmes tells the story of Dunkirk as he walks its beaches and breakwaters.
...Hitler had not halted the Panzers?
A memo from the Assistant Senior News Editor about the Ministry of Information.
The BBC informs the Ministry of Information about its preliminary Dunkirk news reports.
Memo from the BBC to the War Office.
The BBC is held to account by Military Intelligence.
A summary of a telephone conversation between the BBC and MI7.
All broadcasts from officers and men in the army are to be stopped.
Recognition for the part played by the French.
The Ministry of Information sends an urgent message forbidding interviews with servicemen.
The Ministry of Information stops further broadcasts by a general.
The War Office warning about recent news reports.
The Ministry of Information refutes Nazi claims.
A BBC memo highlights censorship communication problems.
Worries about France and instructions from Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office.
The unprecedented demands of broadcasting in wartime continue to cause problems.
The War Office reconfirm their policy on broadcasts by serving officers and men.
A yachtsman tells of his voyage to Dunkirk.
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