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Memories of a school girl - Northampton

by JoChallacombe2

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

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Vicki Heighton
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Contributed on: 
08 July 2005

Me in my prime


Memories of a school girl

On a summer evening the people of Northampton Town, welcomed back the soldiers of the Northamptonshire Regiment who were survivors of Dunkirk.,

As they were coming by train they marched from the railway station through the main streets of the town to the army barracks.

At that time I was a schoolgirl but I shall always remember standing with the crowd and waiting, listening. Suddenly everyone stopped talking, I heard a noise I didn’t recognise, then I realised it was the sound of boots marching

When the soldiers passed me I looked at their faces, pale exhausted and vacant expressions , No smile or a cheeky look in their eyes.

One soldier stood out from the others, he wore a peak cap at an angle, a red patterned handkerchief tied around his neck. I read Belgium on his epilate on his shoulder; I thought how sad he had fled from his country, not knowing what had happened to his family and friends,

The sergeant ordered the soldiers to keep in line! “How cruel after all they had been through!!” . Then the sound of the boots faded and the crowd dispersed and I went home wondering what was ahead for us.

Remembering years later it occurred to me that the sergeant was only obeying his duty and giving his men moral support.

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