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15 October 2014
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God's providence: Dunkirk 1940 icon for Recommended story

by Roddy Maclean

Contributed by 
Roddy Maclean
People in story: 
Alexander Maclean
Location of story: 
Dunkirk beach
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A2332270
Contributed on: 
22 February 2004

My uncle, from the Isle of Skye, told me this story about his experience at Dunkirk.

He and a friend were waiting to be evacuated. When his turn came, they ran down the beach dodging the straffing stukas to a jetty.

Just when they were about to enter the small boat to take them out to the larger ships, the two guards controlling the embarcation crossed rifles to prevent them boarding. My uncle pleaded with the guards to let the two of them on and not to send them back up to the dunes and endure further straffing on the way. The guards were adamant and would have done what was necessary to enforce their instruction.

There was nothing for it but to run back up the beach to the cover provided by the sand dunes. Halfway up the beach my uncle heard a large explosion. He looked back to the jetty and saw that the small boat had received a direct hit from a German plane. There were no survivors.

In the dunes he prayed fervently and told God that if he would get him back across to Britain safely he would believe in him. My uncle told me that he did get back across safely, but didn't follow through with his promise.

He wanted to impress upon me the deceitfulness of the human heart and said that it was not until years later and under different circumstances that he did believe in God.

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Message 1 - God's providence

Posted on: 06 March 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

"He looked back to the jetty and saw that the small boat had received a direct hit from a German plane. There were no survivors."

How kind of God to spare your uncle and his friend.

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