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A Brave Man: Dunkirk 1940icon for Recommended story

by RogerLeslieMann

Contributed by 
RogerLeslieMann
People in story: 
James Leslie Mann
Location of story: 
The Beach at Dunkirk
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A2312641
Contributed on: 
18 February 2004

My late father , a section sergeant arrived at the beach with 44 men and no Officer. He made a decision that, unlike many, he would not wait neck deep in water for one of the few small boats being used to ferry soldiers to the transports out to sea.

Eventually he made his way to an area near the mole where parties of 50 (and strictly no more or you were not allowed to board) were being given a number. When this number was called your party RAN along the mole and boarded.An Officer must accompany each party.

An R A officer was eventually found so making the number up to 45 and not long after 6 men from an infantry regiment marched up and one of them said "any room serg". My father had to say I can take 5, whereupon another man from the group of 6 said " I was last to join I'll find another group". He turned and marched away without another word.

This haunted my father for the rest of his life he always wished he could find out who the soldier was and whether he got home. He could never talk about this without tears in his eyes.

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