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Reunion After Dunkirk

by bikerjohn

Contributed by 
People in story: 
John Rawlings
Location of story: 
Hadlow Kent
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 February 2004

My father came from a family of 11 children from bermondsey 6 boys 5 girls and my uncle john was the third youngest and with the bef in france 1940 in the Royal Artillery.
my father and his youngest brother Tom were both employed by Carty and sons Vatmakers of Bermondsey the only firm in the UK that soley made wooden vats for breweries and other industries.
As the news about Dunkirk became known obviously the family were worried having had no news of John in France for some time. All they knew was there was some kind of evacuation going on and did not know if John was alive or dead.
Tom was sent to repair some vats at a brewery in Hadlow Kent.
Troops returned from Dunkirk were disembarked from trains from the coast at Tonbridge Kent and given a meal and marched to nearby breweries where empty vats were filled with hot water so they could bathe for the first time for days.
Tom,walking from one part of the brewery to another walked past all these soldiers soaking in the vats when someone shouted Tommy in the middle of all these naked soldiers was John. what a chance no news for weeks and then to meet in the brewery.
Tom lost no time in contacting the family in Bermondsey with the news that John was safe and well and in England.
John went on to fight in North Africa,Sicily, Monte Cassino Italy and survive the war but sadly died in 1961.
He had no children after what he saw in the war he said he would'nt bring children into this world.
I would like to know how to find out what battery/troop he was in of the Royal Artillery if any one knows how to do this please let me know.

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