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- Frank Edward Beaven
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- 10 February 2004
Do not forget all those who were cut off and never made it to Dunkirk. This part of the story is often overlooked.
My father, Frank Edward Beaven (b.1919), worked for a merchant bank in the City. Shortly after being called up in 1940 he was sent to France with a small unit of the Royal Artillery, to try out two new and very secret anti-aircraft RADAR sets. They missed Dunkirk and were fortunate to get out on a collier from St Nazaire with one RADAR cabin — the other one they blew up. They witnessed the sinking of the Lancastria by dive-bombers, with the loss of several thousand troops on board. This disaster was kept out of the news at the time, presumably because it would have been so bad for morale. If one of those RADAR sets had fallen into the hands of the enemy, that could have had serious implications too.
Frank Beaven subsequently became a specialist in RADAR (WO2,Technical Instructor Fire Control) serving with the Home Forces and then in Italy in 1944-45.
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