The Real Dunkirk

May 30, 2018
Alec Harrison

This battered clipping from a London newspaper was carefully preserved by Alec J. Harrison, shown second from left. One of the last soldiers to be evacuated from Dunkirk, Alec lived until his 80’s. His relative Linda Rowley sent us this photo and his story, which is told here on The Dunkirk Project.

If you want to read stories of the real Dunkirk 1940 from real people who were there, people who struggled and fought for their lives and sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed, you’ll find many here on The Dunkirk Project. We’ve been collecting previously-untold accounts of Dunkirk 1940 over the past 10 years, and the truth is stranger than fiction, more moving than the movies, and absolutely extraordinary. Click here to read more.

Some highlight contributions:

A treasured newspaper photo sent by Linda Rowley shows Alec Harrison among the last soldiers to be rescued, on 3rd June 1940 – Towards the end

A ‘safely home’ postcard from Jimmy, Elspeth Owen’s father, on 1st June 1940 – Homeward

A birthday on the beach: Liz Archer’s father celebrates his 22nd birthday with bread and jam on 27th May 1940 – An extraordinary armada

Lt George Wilkinson’s account of his experiences as a medic begins on 26th May 1940 – A very tight corner

John Dibblee’s moving account of his experiences on board HMS Skipjack begins on 30th May 1940 – The view from the air

James Killen’s story of his grandfather Tammy Thorburn, boiler man on the Skipjack, and his return home, on 31st May 1940 – Lovely on the water

‘Back Every Friday’: Roy Martin tells of troops sent into France immediately after the evacuation on 4th June 1940 – Beyond Dunkirk

Charlie Bonallack’s images of his Dunkirk Phossils begin on 28th May 1940 – Out there


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