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Operation Dynamo

Allied evacuation of Dunkirk

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The Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo and also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers during World War II from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, in the north of France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940. The operation commenced after large numbers of Belgian, British, and French troops were cut off and surrounded by German troops during the six-week Battle of France. In a speech to the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this “a colossal military disaster”, saying “the whole root and core and brain of the British Army” had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to perish or be captured. In his “we shall fight on the beaches” speech on 4 June, he hailed their rescue as a “miracle of deliverance”.

After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, France and the British Empire declared war on Germany and imposed an economic blockade. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was sent to help defend France. After the Phoney War of October 1939 to April 1940, Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and France on 10 May 1940. Three panzer corps attacked through the Ardennes and drove northwest to the English Channel. By 21 May, German forces had trapped the BEF, the remains of the Belgian forces, and three French field armies along the northern coast of France. BEF commander General Viscount Gort immediately saw evacuation across the Channel as the best course of action, and began planning a withdrawal to Dunkirk, the closest good port.

Late on 23 May, a halt order was issued by Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt, commander of Army Group A. Adolf Hitler approved this order the next day, and had the German High Command send confirmation to the front. Destroying the trapped BEF, French, and Belgian armies was left to the Luftwaffe until the order was rescinded on 26 May. This gave Allied forces time to construct defensive works and pull back large numbers of troops to fight the Battle of Dunkirk. From 28 to 31 May, in the Siege of Lille, the remaining 40,000 men of the once-formidable French First Army fought a delaying action against seven German divisions, including three armoured divisions.

On the first day only 7,669 Allied soldiers were evacuated, but by the end of the eighth day, 338,226 had been rescued by a hastily assembled fleet of over 800 vessels. Many troops were able to embark from the harbour’s protective mole onto 39 British Royal Navy destroyers, 4 Royal Canadian Navy destroyers, at least 3 French Navy destroyers, and a variety of civilian merchant ships. Others had to wade out from the beaches, waiting for hours in shoulder-deep water. Some were ferried to the larger ships by what became known as the Little Ships of Dunkirk, a flotilla of hundreds of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, yachts, and lifeboats called into service from Britain. The BEF lost 68,000 soldiers during the French campaign and had to abandon nearly all of its tanks, vehicles, and equipment. In his 4 June speech, Churchill also reminded the country that “we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.”

In September 1939, after Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the United Kingdom sent the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to aid in the defence of France, landing at Cherbourg, Nantes, and Saint-Nazaire. By May 1940 the force consisted of ten divisions in three corps under the command of General John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort. Working with the BEF were the Belgian Army and the French First, Seventh, and Ninth Armies.

During the 1930s, the French had constructed the Maginot Line, a series of fortifications along their border with Germany. This line had been designed to deter a German invasion across the Franco-German border and funnel an attack into Belgium, which could then be met by the best divisions of the French Army. Thus, any future war would take place outside of French territory, avoiding a repeat of the First World War. The area immediately to the north of the Maginot Line was covered by the heavily wooded Ardennes region, which French General Philippe Pétain declared to be “impenetrable” as long as “special provisions” were taken. He believed that any enemy force emerging from the forest would be vulnerable to a pincer attack and destroyed. The French commander-in-chief, Maurice Gamelin, also believed the area to be of a limited threat, noting that it “never favoured large operations”. With this in mind, the area was left lightly defended.

The initial plan for the German invasion of France called for an encirclement attack through the Netherlands and Belgium, avoiding the Maginot Line. Erich von Manstein, then Chief of Staff of the German Army Group A, prepared the outline of a different plan and submitted it to the OKH (German High Command) via his superior, Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt.Manstein’s plan suggested that panzer divisions should attack through the Ardennes, then establish bridgeheads on the Meuse River and rapidly drive to the English Channel. The Germans would thus cut off the Allied armies in Belgium. This part of the plan later became known as the Sichelschnitt (“sickle cut”). Adolf Hitler approved a modified version of Manstein’s ideas, today known as the Manstein Plan, after meeting with him on 17 February.

On 10 May, Germany invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. Army Group B, under Generaloberst Fedor von Bock, attacked into Belgium, while the three panzer corps of Army Group A under Rundstedt swung around to the south and drove for the Channel. The BEF advanced from the Belgian border to positions along the River Dyle within Belgium, where they fought elements of Army Group B starting on 10 May. They were ordered to begin a fighting withdrawal to the Scheldt River on 14 May when the Belgian and French positions on their flanks failed to hold. During a visit to Paris on 17 May, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was astonished to learn from Gamelin that the French had committed all their troops to the ongoing engagements and had no strategic reserves.

On 19 May, Gort met with French General Gaston Billotte, commander of the French First Army and overall coordinator of the Allied forces. Billotte revealed that the French had no troops between the Germans and the sea. Gort immediately saw that evacuation across the Channel was the best course of action, and began planning a withdrawal to Dunkirk, the closest location with good port facilities. Surrounded by marshes, Dunkirk boasted old fortifications and the longest sand beach in Europe, where large groups could assemble. On 20 May, on Churchill’s suggestion, the Admiralty began arranging for all available small vessels to be made ready to proceed to France. After continued engagements and a failed Allied attempt on 21 May at Arras to cut through the German spearhead, the BEF was trapped, along with the remains of the Belgian forces and the three French armies, in an area along the coast of northern France and Belgium.

Lord Gort (gesturing, at centre) was commander of the British Expeditionary Force.

Picture credited to the War Office

Without informing the French, the British began planning on 20 May for Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the BEF. This planning was headed by Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay at the naval headquarters below Dover Castle, from which he briefed Churchill as it was under way. Ships began gathering at Dover for the evacuation. On 20 May, the BEF sent Brigadier Gerald Whitfield to Dunkirk to start evacuating unnecessary personnel. Overwhelmed by what he later described as “a somewhat alarming movement towards Dunkirk by both officers and men”, due to a shortage of food and water, he had to send many along without thoroughly checking their credentials. Even officers ordered to stay behind to aid the evacuation disappeared onto the boats.

On 22 May, Churchill ordered the BEF to attack southward in coordination with the French First Army under General Georges Blanchard to reconnect with the remainder of the French forces. This proposed action was dubbed the Weygand Plan after General Maxime Weygand, appointed Supreme Commander after Gamelin’s dismissal on 18 May. On 25 May, Gort had to abandon any hope of achieving this objective and withdrew on his own initiative, along with Blanchard’s forces, behind the Lys Canal, part of a canal system that reached the sea at Gravelines. Sluice gates had already been opened all along the canal to flood the system and create a barrier (the Canal Line) against the German advance.

Battle of Dunkirk

By 24 May, the Germans had captured the port of Boulogne and surrounded Calais. The engineers of the 2nd Panzer Division under Generalmajor Rudolf Veiel built five bridges over the Canal Line and only one British battalion barred the way to Dunkirk. On 23 May, at the suggestion of Fourth Army commander Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge, Rundstedt had ordered the panzer units to halt, concerned about the vulnerability of his flanks and the question of supply to his forward troops. He was also concerned that the marshy ground around Dunkirk would prove unsuitable for tanks and he wished to conserve them for later operations (in some units, tank losses were 30–50 per cent). Hitler was also apprehensive, and on a visit to Army Group A headquarters on 24 May, he endorsed the order.

Air Marshal Hermann Göring urged Hitler to let the Luftwaffe (aided by Army Group B) finish off the British, to the consternation of General Franz Halder, who noted in his diary that the Luftwaffe was dependent upon the weather and aircrews were worn out after two weeks of battle. Rundstedt issued another order, which was sent uncoded. It was picked up by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Y service intelligence network at 12:42: “By order of the Fuhrer … attack north-west of Arras is to be limited to the general line Lens–Bethune–Aire–St Omer–Gravelines. The Canal will not be crossed.” Later that day, Hitler issued Directive 13, which called for the Luftwaffe to defeat the trapped Allied forces and stop their escape. At 15:30 on 26 May, Hitler ordered the panzer groups to continue their advance, but most units took another 16 hours to attack. The delay gave the Allies time to prepare defences vital for the evacuation and prevented the Germans from stopping the Allied retreat from Lille.

The halt order has been the subject of much discussion by historians. Guderian considered the failure to order a timely assault on Dunkirk to be one of the major German mistakes on the Western Front. Rundstedt called it “one of the great turning points of the war”, and Manstein described it as “one of Hitler’s most critical mistakes”. B. H. Liddell Hart interviewed many of the generals after the war and put together a picture of Hitler’s strategic thinking on the matter. Hitler believed that once Britain’s troops left continental Europe, they would never return.

26–27 May

The retreat was undertaken amid chaotic conditions, with abandoned vehicles blocking the roads and a flood of refugees heading in the opposite direction. Due to wartime censorship and the desire to keep up British morale, the full extent of the unfolding disaster at Dunkirk was not initially publicised. A special service attended by King George VI was held in Westminster Abbey on 26 May, which was declared a national day of prayer. The Archbishop of Canterbury led prayers “for our soldiers in dire peril in France”. Similar prayers were offered in synagogues and churches throughout the UK that day, confirming to the public their suspicion of the desperate plight of the troops. Just before 19:00 on 26 May, Churchill ordered Dynamo to begin, by which time 28,000 men had already departed. Initial plans called for the recovery of 45,000 men from the BEF within two days, at which time German troops were expected to block further evacuation. Only 25,000 men escaped during this period, including 7,669 on the first day.

On 27 May, the first full day of the evacuation, one cruiser, eight destroyers, and 26 other craft were active. Admiralty officers combed nearby boatyards for small craft that could ferry personnel from the beaches out to larger craft in the harbour, as well as larger vessels that could load from the docks. An emergency call was put out for additional help, and by 31 May nearly four hundred small craft were voluntarily and enthusiastically taking part in the effort.

The same day, the Luftwaffe heavily bombed Dunkirk, both the town and the dock installations. As the water supply was knocked out, the resulting fires could not be extinguished. An estimated thousand civilians were killed, one-third of the remaining population of the town. RAF squadrons were ordered to provide air supremacy for the Royal Navy during evacuation, their efforts shifted to tightly covering Dunkirk and the English Channel, protecting the ships of the evacuation fleet as much as possible. The Luftwaffe was met by 16 squadrons of the Royal Air Force, who claimed 38 kills on 27 May while losing 14 aircraft. Many more RAF fighters sustained damage and were subsequently written off. On the German side, Kampfgeschwader 2 (KG 2) and KG 3 suffered the heaviest casualties. German losses amounted to 23 Dornier Do 17s. KG 1 and KG 4 bombed the beach and harbour and KG 54 sank the 8,000-ton steamer Aden. Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers sank the troopship Cote d’ Azur. The Luftwaffe engaged with 300 bombers which were protected by 550 fighter sorties and attacked Dunkirk in twelve raids. They dropped 15,000 high explosive and 30,000 incendiary bombs, destroying the oil tanks and wrecking the harbour. No. 11 Group RAF flew 22 patrols with 287 aircraft this day, in formations of up to 20 aircraft.

Troops evacuated from Dunkirk arrive at Dover, 31 May 1940

Altogether, over 3,500 sorties were flown in support of Operation Dynamo. The RAF continued to inflict a heavy toll on the German bombers throughout the week. Soldiers being bombed and strafed while awaiting transport were for the most part unaware of the efforts of the RAF to protect them, as most of the dogfights took place far from the beaches. As a result, many British soldiers bitterly accused the airmen of doing nothing to help.

On 25 and 26 May, the Luftwaffe focused their attention on Allied pockets holding out at Calais, Lille, and Amiens, and did not attack Dunkirk. Calais, held by the BEF, surrendered on 26 May. Remnants of the French First Army, surrounded at Lille, fought off seven German divisions, several of them armoured, until 31 May, when the remaining 35,000 soldiers were forced to surrender after running out of food and ammunition. The Germans accorded the honours of war to the defenders of Lille in recognition of their bravery.

8 May – 4 June

The Belgian Army surrendered on 28 May, leaving a large gap to the east of Dunkirk. Several British divisions were rushed in to cover that side. The Luftwaffe flew fewer sorties over Dunkirk on 28 May, switching their attention to the Belgian ports of Ostend and Nieuport. The weather over Dunkirk was not conducive to dive or low-level bombing. The RAF flew 11 patrols and 321 sorties, claiming 23 destroyed for the loss of 13 aircraft. On 28 May, 17,804 soldiers arrived at British ports.

On 29 May, 47,310 British troops were rescued as the Luftwaffe’s Ju 87s exacted a heavy toll on shipping. The British destroyer HMS Grenade was sunk and the French destroyer Mistral was crippled, while her sister ships, each laden with 500 men, were damaged by near misses. British destroyers Jaguar and Verity were badly damaged but escaped the harbour. Two trawlers disintegrated in the attack. Later, the passenger steamer SS Fenella sank with 600 men aboard at the pier but the men were able to get off. The paddle steamer HMS Crested Eagle suffered a direct hit, caught fire, and sank with severe casualties. The raiders also destroyed the two rail-owned ships, the SS Lorina and the SS Normannia. Of the five major German attacks, just two were contested by RAF fighters; the British lost 16 fighters in nine patrols. German losses amounted to 11 Ju 87s destroyed or damaged.

On 30 May, Churchill received word that all British divisions were now behind the defensive lines, along with more than half of the French First Army.[78] By this time, the perimeter ran along a series of canals about 7 miles (11 km) from the coast, in marshy country not suitable for tanks. With the docks in the harbour rendered unusable by German air attacks, senior naval officer Captain (later Admiral) William Tennant initially ordered men to be evacuated from the beaches. When this proved too slow, he re-routed the evacuees to two long stone and concrete breakwaters, called the east and west moles, as well as the beaches. The moles had never been designed to dock ships, but despite this, the majority of troops rescued from Dunkirk were taken off in this way; according to legend, it was the Little Ships which did this achievement. According to the historical record, almost 200,000 troops embarked on ships from the east mole (which stretched nearly a mile out to sea) over the next week. James Campbell Clouston, pier master on the east mole, a narrow wooden walkway mounted on a concrete breakwater, not designed to be used by ships, but the only part of the port that had not been heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe, organised and regulated the flow of men along the mole into the waiting ships, for the next five days. Once more, low clouds kept Luftwaffe activity to a minimum. Nine RAF patrols were mounted, with no German formation encountered. The following day, the Luftwaffe sank one transport and damaged 12 others for 17 losses; the British claimed 38 kills, which was an exaggeration. The RAF and Fleet Air Arm lost 28 aircraft.

Of the total 338,226 soldiers, several hundred were unarmed Indian mule handlers on detachment from the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, forming four of the six units of Force K-6 transport. Cypriot muleteers were also present. Three units were successfully evacuated and one captured. Also present at Dunkirk were a small number of French Senegalese soldiers and Moroccans.

The next day, an additional 53,823 men were embarked, including the first French soldiers. Lord Gort and 68,014 men were evacuated on 31 May, leaving Major-General Harold Alexander in command of the rearguard. A further 64,429 Allied soldiers departed on 1 June, before the increasing air attacks prevented further daylight evacuation. The British rearguard of 4,000 men left on the night of 2–3 June. An additional 75,000 French troops were retrieved over the nights of 2–4 June, before the operation finally ended. The remainder of the rearguard, 40,000 French troops, surrendered on 4 June. Churchill made a point of stating in his “We shall fight on the beaches” address in the House on 4 June that the evacuation had been made possible through the efforts of the RAF.

Evacuation routes

Three routes were allocated to the evacuating vessels. The shortest was Route Z, a distance of 39 nautical miles (72 km), but it entailed hugging the French coast and thus ships using it were subject to bombardment from on-shore batteries, particularly in daylight hours. Route X, although the safest from shore batteries, travelled through a particularly heavily mined portion of the Channel. Ships on this route travelled 55 nautical miles (102 km) north out of Dunkirk, proceeded through the Ruytingen Pass, and headed towards the North Goodwin Lightship before heading south around the Goodwin Sands to Dover. The route was safest from surface attacks, but the nearby minefields and sandbanks meant it could not be used at night. The longest of the three was Route Y, a distance of 87 nautical miles (161 km); using this route increased the sailing time to four hours, double the time required for Route Z. This route followed the French coast as far as Bray-Dunes, then turned north-east until reaching the Kwinte Buoy. Here, after making an approximately 135-degree turn, the ships sailed west to the North Goodwin Lightship and headed south around the Goodwin Sands to Dover. Ships on Route Y were the most likely to be attacked by German surface vessels, submarines, and the Luftwaffe.

You knew this was the chance to get home and you kept praying, please God, let us go, get us out, get us out of this mess back to England. To see that ship that came in to pick me and my brother up, it was a most fantastic sight. We saw dog fights up in the air, hoping nothing would happen to us and we saw one or two terrible sights. Then somebody said, there’s Dover, that was when we saw the White Cliffs, the atmosphere was terrific. From hell to heaven was how the feeling was, you felt like a miracle had happened.

— Harry Garrett, British Army, speaking to Kent Online.

Troops evacuated from Dunkirk on a destroyer about to berth at Dover, 31 May 1940

Picture credited to Puttnam (Mr) and Malindine (Mr), War Office official photographer


The Royal Navy provided the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta, 39 destroyers, and many other craft. The Merchant Navy supplied passenger ferries, hospital ships, and other vessels. Britain’s Belgian, Dutch, Canadian, Polish, and French allies provided vessels as well. Admiral Ramsay arranged for around a thousand copies to be made of the required charts, had buoys laid around the Goodwin Sands and down to Dunkirk, and organised the flow of shipping. Larger ships such as destroyers were able to carry about 900 men per trip. The soldiers mostly travelled on the upper decks for fear of being trapped below if the ship sank. After the loss on 29 May of 19 British and French navy ships plus three of the larger requisitioned vessels, the Admiralty withdrew their eight best destroyers for the future defence of the country.

                           British Ships

Type of vessel                                                             Total engaged – Sunk – Damaged

Cruisers                                                                                  1  > > > >   0 > > > 1

Destroyers                                                                           39 > > > >   6 > > > 19

Sloops, corvettes and gunboats                                    9  > > > >   1  > > >  1

Minesweepers                                                                     36 > > > >  5 > > >  7

Trawlers and drifters                                                     113 > > > > 17  > > > 2

Special service vessels                                                       3 > > > >  1 > > >   0

Ocean boarding vessels                                                     3  > > > > 1 > > >   1

Torpedo boats and anti-submarine boats                13 > > > >  0 > > >  0

Former Dutch schuyts with naval crews                 40  > > > > 4 > > > Unknown

Yachts with naval crews                                                 26  > > > > 3 > > > Unknown

Personnel ships                                                                 45 > > > >  8 > > >  8

Hospital carriers                                                                 8 > > > > 1 > > >   5

Naval motor boats                                                            12  > > >>  6  > > > Unknown

Tugboats                                                                              34 > > > >  3 > > >  Unknown

Other small craft                                                              311 > > >  170 > > >Unknown

Total British ships                                                          693 > > > 226

Does not include ships’ lifeboats and some unrecorded small privately owned craft.

Allied ships

Type of vessel                                                             Total engaged – Sunk – Damaged

Warships (all types)                                                        49 > > > > > 8 > > > > Unknown

Other vessels                                                                    119 > > > > > 9  > > > > Unknown

Total Allied ships                                                            168 > > > >  17 

(Grand total )                                                                 (861) > > > > (243)

Little ships

A wide variety of small vessels from all over the south of England were pressed into service to aid in the Dunkirk evacuation. They included speedboats, Thames vessels, car ferries, pleasure craft, and many other types of small craft. The most useful proved to be the motor lifeboats, which had a reasonably good capacity and speed. Some boats were requisitioned without the owner’s knowledge or consent. Agents of the Ministry of Shipping, accompanied by a naval officer, scoured the Thames for likely vessels, had them checked for seaworthiness, and took them downriver to Sheerness, where naval crews were to be placed aboard. Due to shortages of personnel, many small craft crossed the Channel with civilian crews.

The first of the “little ships” arrived at Dunkirk on 28 May. The wide sand beaches meant that large vessels could not get anywhere near the shore, and even small craft had to stop about 100 yards (91 m) from the waterline and wait for the soldiers to wade out. In many cases, personnel would abandon their boat upon reaching a larger ship, and subsequent evacuees had to wait for boats to drift ashore with the tide before they could make use of them. In most areas on the beaches, soldiers queued up with their units and patiently awaited their turn to leave. But at times, panicky soldiers had to be warned off at gunpoint when they attempted to rush to the boats out of turn. In addition to ferrying out on boats, soldiers at De Panne and Bray-Dunes constructed improvised jetties by driving rows of abandoned vehicles onto the beach at low tide, anchoring them with sandbags, and connecting them with wooden walkways.

Before the operation was completed, the prognosis had been gloomy, with Churchill warning the House of Commons on 28 May to expect “hard and heavy tidings”. Subsequently, Churchill referred to the outcome as a miracle, and the British press presented the evacuation as a “disaster turned to triumph” so successfully that Churchill had to remind the country in a speech to the House of Commons on 4 June that “we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.” Andrew Roberts comments that the confusion over the Dunkirk evacuation is illustrated by two of the best books on it being called Strange Defeat and Strange Victory.

Troops landed from Dunkirk
              27 May – 4 June

Date          Beaches      Harbour       Total

27 May            7,669                                    7,669

28 May           5,930             11,874         17,804

29 May          13,752            33,558        47,310

30 May          29,512           24,311          53,823

31 May          22,942          45,072         68,014

1 June           17,348           47,081         64,429

2 June           6,695            19,561          26,256

3 June           1,870            24,876         26,746

4 June             622             25,553          26,175

Totals         98,671           239,555       338,226

Three British divisions and a host of logistic and labour troops were cut off to the south of the Somme by the German “race to the sea”. At the end of May, a further two divisions began moving to France with the hope of establishing a Second BEF. The majority of the 51st (Highland) Division was forced to surrender on 12 June, but almost 192,000 Allied personnel, 144,000 of them British, were evacuated through various French ports from 15–25 June under the codename Operation Ariel. The Germans marched into Paris on 14 June and France surrendered eight days later.

The more than 100,000 French troops evacuated from Dunkirk were quickly and efficiently shuttled to camps in various parts of south-western England, where they were temporarily lodged before being repatriated. British ships ferried French troops to Brest, Cherbourg, and other ports in Normandy and Brittany, although only about half of the repatriated troops were redeployed against the Germans before the surrender of France. For many French soldiers, the Dunkirk evacuation represented only a few weeks’ delay before being killed or captured by the German army after their return to France. Of the French soldiers evacuated from France in June 1940, about 3,000 joined Charles de Gaulle’s Free French army in Britain.

In France, the unilateral British decision to evacuate through Dunkirk rather than counter-attack to the south, and the perceived preference of the Royal Navy for evacuating British forces at the expense of the French, led to some bitter resentment. According to Churchill, French Admiral François Darlan originally ordered that the British forces should receive preference, but on 31 May, he intervened at a meeting in Paris to order that the evacuation should proceed on equal terms and that the British would form the rearguard. In fact, the 35,000 men who finally surrendered after covering the final evacuations were mostly French soldiers of 2nd Light Mechanized Division and the 68th Infantry Division. Their resistance allowed the evacuation effort to be extended to 4 June, on which date another 26,175 Frenchmen were transported to England.

The evacuation was presented to the German public as an overwhelming and decisive German victory. On 5 June 1940, Hitler stated “Dunkirk has fallen! 40,000 French and English troops are all that remains of the formerly great armies. Immeasurable quantities of materiel have been captured. The greatest battle in the history of the world has come to an end.” Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW, the German armed forces high command) announced the event as “the greatest annihilation battle of all time”.

Remaining British forces under the Tenth Army as Norman Force, retreated towards Cherbourg.


Bourrasque slowly sinking

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Mona’s Queen shortly after striking a mine on the approach to Dunkirk, 29 May 1940
The BEF lost 68,000 soldiers (dead, wounded, missing, or captured) from 10 May until the armistice with France on 22 June. 3,500 British were killed and 13,053 wounded. All the heavy equipment had to be abandoned. Left behind in France were 2,472 guns, 20,000 motorcycles, and almost 65,000 other vehicles; also abandoned were 416,000 long tons (423,000 t) of stores, more than 75,000 long tons (76,000 t) of ammunition and 162,000 long tons (165,000 t) of fuel. Almost all of the 445 British tanks that had been sent to France with the BEF were abandoned.

Six British and three French destroyers were sunk, along with nine other major vessels. In addition, 19 destroyers were damaged. Over 200 British and Allied sea craft were sunk, with a similar number damaged. The Royal Navy’s most significant losses in the operation were six destroyers:

Grafton, sunk by U-62 on 29 May
Grenade, sunk by air attack at Dunkirk on 29 May
Wakeful, sunk by a torpedo from the E-boat S-30 on 29 May
Basilisk, Havant, and Keith, sunk by air attack off the beaches on 1 June
The French Navy lost three destroyers:

Bourrasque, mined off Nieuport on 30 May
Siroco, sunk by the E-boats S-23 and S-26 on 31 May
Le Foudroyant, sunk by air attack off the beaches on 1 June
The RAF lost 145 aircraft, of which at least 42 were Spitfires, while the Luftwaffe lost 156 aircraft in operations in the nine days of Operation Dynamo, including 35 destroyed by Royal Navy ships (plus 21 damaged) during the six days from 27 May to 1 June.

For every seven soldiers who escaped through Dunkirk, one man was left behind as a prisoner of war. The majority of these prisoners were sent on forced marches into Germany. Prisoners reported brutal treatment by their guards, including beatings, starvation, and murder. Another complaint was that German guards kicked over buckets of water that had been left at the roadside by French civilians for the marching prisoners to drink.

Many of the prisoners were marched to the city of Trier, with the march taking as long as 20 days. Others were marched to the river Scheldt and were sent by barge to the Ruhr. The prisoners were then sent by rail to prisoner of war camps in Germany. The majority (those below the rank of corporal) then worked in German industry and agriculture for the remainder of the war.

Those of the BEF who died or were captured and have no known grave are commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial.

Dunkirk Jack

The St George’s Cross defaced with the arms of Dunkirk flown from the jack staff is the warranted house flag of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. It is known as the Dunkirk Jack. The flag is flown only by civilian vessels that took part in the Dunkirk rescue operation.

Portrayals in literature and popular culture

The novella The Snow Goose: A Story of Dunkirk by Paul Gallico

The novel The Big Pick-Up by Elleston Trevor

The novel Dunkirk co-authored by Lt. Col. Ewan Hunter and Maj. J. S. Bradford

The book The Miracle of Dunkirk by Walter Lord


The following is the list of the movies dealing with the Dunkirk evacuation or portraying the act of evacuation as the crucial moment of the film’s plot:

Mrs. Miniver (1942), features one of the main leads assisting in the evacuation

Dunkirk (1958), follows a corporal leading his left-behind men to Dunkirk, and two civilians who participate in the evacuation

Weekend at Dunkirk (1964), follows a French soldier attempting to escape with the retreating British

Atonement (2007), the main character waits to be evacuated at the Dunkirk beach

Their Finest (2016), follows a British Ministry of Information film team making a morale-boosting film about the evacuation

Dunkirk (2017), focusing on a private attempting to retreat from Dunkirk, civilians who participate in the evacuation, and the RAF’s contribution to the evacuation

Darkest Hour (2017), depicts the evacuation from the perspective of Winston Churchill and the generals in war rooms

TV documentaries

Dunkirk (2004 BBC television docudrama), depicts the evacuation, portraying the main incidents and players in a documentary-style fashion


It is simulated in the board wargame Dunkirk: The Battle of France. The battle has been the subject of video games including Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, and Secret Weapons Over Normandy.

The evacuation is the subject of the song “The Fires of Calais,” telling the story from the perspective of a British fisherman taking part in the rescue. The song was released on the album Then Again.

1940 Dunkirk Veterans’ Association

Dunkirk Medal

Sourced from Wikipedia


Congratulations to  


Arise Sir Tom

75th Anniversary 

Victory in Europe Day


Sir Winston Churchill and General Dwight Eisenhower

addressing troops at the Rifle Depot (Peninsula Barrack)  

The Rifle Depot housed the 60th Infantry Regiment of the 9th (US) Infantry Division, who were preparing to take part in the 1944 D Day Landings in Normandy (Operation Over Lord). The Rifle Brigade recruits were trained at near York during this period.   


The surrender of German forces

Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery receiving the surrender of the German forces at his tactical Headquarters,

21st Army Group, Luneburg Heath on 4th May 1945. 

This was the beginning of the end as the War was not officially over.  

May 8th 1945 – 8th May 2020

The Rifles Regiment are joining the Royal British Legion 

to mark the 75th Anniversary of V E Day from home with a Tea Party.

Victory in Europe day, May 8th 1945, was a time of great celebration for Britain; as Churchill walked to a Service of Thanksgiving at St Margaret’s, Westminster, he was engulfed by an ecstatic, cheering crowd, all wanting to shake his hand and pour out their relief and gratitude. Even the two princesses, both teenagers at the time, got in on the act according to the Reader’s Digest’s ‘The World at Arms’. For once in a way their father the King allowed them to venture out mingle with the crowds, and wrote later in his diary, ‘Poor darlings, they have never had any fun yet.’

However, there were those who found it hard to get into the swing of things. Many young men and women would not be coming home, among them the 383,786 military dead from Britain, not to mention over 67,000 citizens on the Home Front – and that was without accounting for the Commonwealth casualties. The war with Japan raged on, and perhaps Churchill’s rather subdued announcement of the German surrender reflected his knowledge of what lay ahead for the unfortunate Japanese people if they didn’t lay down their arms soon. Nellie Last, whose diary is quoted in Juliet Gardiner’s ‘The 1940s House’, found it hard to move her thoughts beyond the tragedies of the present, but said to herself on hearing the announcement of a national holiday to celebrate the war’s end, “Well dash it, we must celebrate somehow – I’ll open this tin of pears.” This she duly did.

Many felt similarly shaky about the future, but as lights all over London blazed forth on the evening of VE Day, having been dark for almost 6 long years, not to mention bonfires and fireworks, floodlights and searchlights, the children’s eyes shone with excitement. Surely few people could have resisted cracking a smile at that glorious sight!

Below is the text of the broadcast in which, at 3pm British Double Summer Time on May 8, 1945, Mr. Winston Churchill announced the end of the fighting in Europe. Later the same day, H.M. the King broadcast his own message of thanksgiving, which is also reproduced. Both appear in our Historic Documents archive as part of ‘The Second Great War, Volume 8’, edited by Sir John Hammerton.

Yesterday morning at 2.41 a.m. at headquarters, General Jodl, the representative of the German High Command, and Grand Admiral Dönitz, the designated head of the German State, signed the act of unconditional surrender of all German land, sea, and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Force, and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command.

General Bedell Smith, Chief of Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Fran?ois Sevez signed the document on behalf of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Susloparov signed on behalf of the Russian High Command.

Today this agreement will be ratified and confirmed at Berlin, where Air Chief Marshal Tedder, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General de Lattre de Tassigny will sign on behalf of General Eisenhower. Marshal Zhukov will sign on behalf of the Soviet High Command. The German representative will be Field-Marshal Keitel, Chief of the High Command, and the Commanders-in-Chief of the German Army, Navy, and Air Forces.

Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight tonight (Tuesday, May 8), but in the interests of saving lives the “Cease Fire” began yesterday to be sounded all along the front, and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today.

The Germans are still in places resisting the Russian troops, but should they continue to do so after midnight they will, of course, deprive themselves of the protection of the laws of war, and will be attacked from all quarters by the Allied troops. It is not surprising that on such long fronts and in the existing disorder of the enemy the commands of the German High Command should not in every case be obeyed immediately. This does not, in our opinion, with the best military advice at our disposal, constitute any reason for withholding from the nation the facts communicated to us by General Eisenhower of the unconditional surrender already signed at Rheims, nor should it prevent us from celebrating today and tomorrow (Wednesday) as Victory in Europe days.

Today, perhaps we shall think mostly of ourselves. Tomorrow, we shall pay a particular tribute to our Russian comrades, whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to the general victory.

The German war is therefore at an end. After years of intense preparation, Germany hurled herself on Poland at the beginning of September 1939; and, in pursuance of our guarantee to Poland and in agreement with the French Republic, Great Britain, and the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, declared war upon this foul aggression. After gallant France had been struck down we, from this island and from our united Empire, maintained the struggle single-handedly for a whole year until we were joined by the military might of Soviet Russia and later by the overwhelming power and resources of the United States of America.

Two small girls waving their flags in the rubble of Battersea,

snapped by an anonymous American photographer. © IWM.

Finally almost the whole world was combined against the evil-doers, who are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts in this island and throughout the British Empire.

We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued. The injury she has inflicted on Great Britain, the United States, and other countries, and her detestable cruelties, call for justice and retribution. We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance, Britannia! Long live the cause of freedom! God save the King!

King George VI Queen Elizabeth Princesses Winston Churchill greet crowds Buckingham Palace Balcony VE Day
Message from H.M. the King to his peoples broadcast on May 8th, 1945:

Today we give thanks to Almighty God for a great deliverance.

Speaking from our Empire’s oldest capital city, war-battered but never for one moment daunted or dismayed – speaking from London, I ask you to join with me in that act of thanksgiving.

Germany, the enemy who drove all Europe into war, has finally been overcome. In the Far East we have yet to deal with the Japanese, a determined and cruel foe. To this we shall turn with the utmost resolve and with all our resources. But at this hour, when the dreadful shadow of war has passed from our hearts and homes in these islands, we may at last make one pause for thanksgiving and then turn our thoughts to the tasks all over the world which peace in Europe brings with it.

Let us remember those who will not come back, their constancy and courage in battle, their sacrifice and endurance in the face of a merciless enemy; let us remember the men in all the Services and the women in all the Services who have laid down their lives. We have come to the end of our tribulation, and they are not with us at the moment of rejoicing.

Then let us salute in proud gratitude the great host of the living who have brought us to victory. I cannot praise them to the measure of each one’s service, for in a total war the efforts of all rise to the same noble height and all are devoted to the common purpose. Armed or unarmed, men and women, you have fought, striven and endured to your utmost. No one knows that better than I do; and as your King I thank with a full heart those who bore arms so valiantly on land and sea, or in the air; and all civilians who, shouldering their many burdens, have carried them unflinchingly without complaint.

With those memories in our minds, let us think what it was that has upheld us through nearly six years of suffering and peril. The knowledge that everything was at stake: our freedom, our independence, our very existence as a people; but the knowledge also that in defending ourselves we were defending the liberties of the whole world; that our cause was the cause not of this nation only, not of this Empire and Commonwealth only, but of every land where freedom is cherished and law and liberty go hand in hand. In the darkest hours we knew that the enslaved and isolated peoples of Europe looked to us; their hopes were our hopes; their confidence confirmed our faith. We knew that, if we failed, the last remaining barrier against a world-wide tyranny would have fallen in ruins. But we did not fall. We kept our faith with ourselves and with one another; we kept faith and unity with our great allies. That faith and unity have carried us to victory through dangers which at times seemed overwhelming.

So let us resolve to bring to the tasks which lie ahead the same high confidence in our mission. Much hard work awaits us, both in the restoration of our own country after the ravages of war and in helping to restore peace and sanity to a shattered world…

There is great comfort in the thought that the years of darkness and danger in which the children of our country have grown up are over and, please God, for ever. We shall have failed, and the blood of our dearest will have flowed in vain if the victory which they died to win does not lead to a lasting peace, founded on justice and established in good will. To that, then, let us turn our thoughts on this day of just triumph and proud sorrow and then take up our work again, resolved as people to do nothing unworthy of those who have died for us and to make the world such a world as they would have desired, for their children and for ours…


Women and children, gathered round a table in the middle of the road in Albacore Crescent, Lewisham SE13. Copyright: © IWM

Sir Winston Churchill Speech Sourced from You Tube

King George`s Victory Speech sourced from You Tube 

Sourced from Forces War Records

Pictures from Google 

We wish you a happy 100th Birthday Colonel Moore.
The Nation Salutes you.

Happy Birthday Colonel Tom Moore

The Card M.A.P sent to Captain Tom 


30th April 2020




We as a Nation Salute you Sir

Happy 100th Birthday 

Captain Tom Moore



Pictures sourced from google

The Metro

Captain Tom Moore We Salute You Sir 

He has raised over 30 Million for the

National Health Service

Arise Sir Tom

Captain Tom Moore with members of his Family

Pictures by Sky News

 Colonel Tom Moore

A Beacon of Light in Dark Times

Captain Tom

A 99 year old veteran 

Had a great idea

To show gratitude to the NHS

Within his 100th year.

You know him as Captain Tom

But his name is Thomas Moore

A British Army Officer

Who served in the Second World War.

Some would say “I`ve played my part”

“I think I`ll take a rest”

But he selflessly did his laps

To complete his promised quest.

For his chosen charity he 

Hoped to raise one thousand pounds

So he set about his challenge

To walk his garden grounds.

100 laps to complete

Donning medals and smartly dressed

With people pledging money

He barley took a rest.

He captured the Nation`s heart

A guard of Honour formed

By the Yorkshire Regiment

For of the Great British Army

He`s a perfect testament.

A beacon of hope in dark times

His daughter`s filled with pride

An inspirational gentleman

And much much more besides.

He`s helping the NHS

To fight a battle they did not choose

A battle against a virus 

They are determined not to loose.

So we salute you Captain Tom

For everything you have done

A knighthood you truly deserve

When this battle is won.

Happy 100th Birthday 


Thank You!

By Jo Brand

Poem by Jo Beard

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

L/Cpl Brodie Gillon
Rest In Peace
Stand down Cpl
Rest easy
You served your country well
Thank you.

Candle Light GIF - Candle Light Flame GIFs

Due to GREED and DISRESPECT withing the Regiment for The GJB and RGJ Badges. 


Do now own the Copyright to the graphic designs of the GJB and RGJ Cap Badge worn.  

MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD are the only Company with the correct Cap Badges worn. 

The Great War WWI



They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night.

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.



  The Most Famous Royal Green Jacket

14th August 1969 – 14th August 2019

Picture by BBC via Belfast child

50 years on since

The British Army was deployed in Northern Ireland.

by Clive Sanders
None of us wanted to be there.
None of us knew what to do.
We`d not had a semblance of training.
We felt we were hundreds to few.
Politicians had sent us to Ulster,
As a barrier between warring sides.
We did not have a plan we could work to,
We just had to man the divides.

None knew how long we would be there,
None would believe thirty years.
We counted off days on our four months,
And tried not to show them our fears.
We hadn`t been trained for street warfare,
Surrounded by hatred and strife.
We worked to look after each other,
In friendships that still last for life.

We all lost good mates in the Troubles.
We remember their names every year.
Whenever we meet at reunions,
With memories of them always clear.
We got no applause for our suffering.
We carry our wounds with us still.
And now we have comrades arrested,
Which to us is the bitterest of pill.
©copyright protected

14th August 1969: British troops sent into Northern Ireland

British soldiers armed with machine guns keeping watch in the Falls Road during rioting,

August 1969. Photograph: Popperfoto via Getty.

The British Government has sent troops into Northern Ireland in what it says is a “limited operation” to restore law and order.
It follows three days and two nights of violence in the mainly-Catholic Bogside area of Londonderry. Trouble has also erupted in Belfast and other towns across Northern Ireland.

It also comes after a speech by the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, Jack Lynch, regarded by many as “outrageous interference” in which he called for a United Nations peacekeeping force to be sent to the province.

He also called for Anglo-Irish talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Exhausted police

The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Major James Chichester-Clark, responded by saying neighbourly relations with the Republic were at an end and that British troops were being called in.

The British Home Secretary James Callaghan was in a plane on his way to talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Cornwall when he received a radio-telephone call asking for troops to be deployed.

Shortly after 1700 hours local time, 300 troops from the 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, occupied the centre of Londonderry, replacing the exhausted police officers who had been patrolling the cordons around the Bogside.

They have been on standby for the past couple of days.

The arrival of the British troops was greeted with cheering and singing from behind the barricades in the Roman Catholic area of Londonderry.

They were chanting: “We’ve won, we’ve won. We’ve brought down the government.”

The trouble began three days ago during the annual Apprentice Boys march, which marks the 13 boy supporters of William of Orange who defended Londonderry against the forces of the Catholic King James II in 1688.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary were forced to use tear gas – for the first time in their history – to try to bring the rioting under control.

But tensions mounted with the mobilisation of the B Specials. The special constables, who are armed and mostly part-time, were supposed to help the RUC restore order – but they are regarded with deep suspicion by the Roman Catholics.

On the streets of Belfast, the appearance of the B Specials led to an escalation in the violence while the special constables reportedly stood by and watched….

4th January

A People’s Democracy march between Belfast and Derry was repeatedly attacked by loyalists. At Burntollet it was ambushed by 200 loyalists and off-duty police (RUC) officers armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles. The marchers claimed that police did little to protect them. When the march arrived in Derry it was broken up by the RUC, which sparked serious rioting between Irish nationalists and the RUC. That night, RUC officers went on a rampage in the Bogside area of Derry; attacking Catholic homes, attacking and threatening residents, and hurling sectarian abuse. Residents then sealed off the Bogside with barricades to keep the police out, creating “Free Derry”.


The loyalists intended to bring down the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O’Neill, who had promised some concessions to the civil rights movement. To this end, Members of the loyalist UVF and UPV bombed water and electricity installations in Northern Ireland, in deceitful false flag attacks, blaming them on the dormant IRA and on elements of the civil rights movement. There were six bombings and all were widely blamed on the IRA. As a response, British soldiers were sent to guard installations. Despite this, Loyalist-Unionist support for O’Neill continued to wane, and on 28 April he resigned as Prime Minister.

17th April

People’s Democracy activist Bernadette Devlin was the youngest woman ever elected to Westminster, a record which stood until Mhairi Black’s election in 2015.

19th April

During clashes with civil rights marchers in Derry, RUC officers entered the house of an uninvolved Catholic civilian, Samuel Devenny, and beat him, along with two of his daughters.
One of the daughters was beaten unconscious as she lay recovering from surgery. Devenny suffered a heart attack and died on 17 July from his injuries.

13th July

During clashes with nationalists throwing stones at an Orange Hall in Dungiven, RUC officers beat Francis McCloskey, a Catholic civilian (aged 67). He died of his injuries the next day. Many consider this the first death of the Troubles.

5th August

The UVF planted their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin.

12th–14th August

Battle of the Bogside – during an Apprentice Boys march, serious rioting erupted in Derry between Irish nationalists and the RUC. RUC officers, backed by loyalists, entered the nationalist Bogside in armoured cars and tried to suppress the riot by using CS gas, water cannon and eventually firearms. The almost continuous rioting lasted for two days.

14th–17th August

Northern Ireland riots of August 1969 – in response to events in Derry, Irish nationalists held protests throughout Northern Ireland. Some of these became violent. In Belfast, loyalists responded by attacking nationalist districts. Rioting also erupted in Newry, Armagh, Crossmaglen, Dungannon, Coalisland and Dungiven. Six Catholics and two Protestants were shot dead and at least 133 were treated for gunshot wounds. Scores of houses and businesses were burnt out, most of them owned by Catholics. Thousands of families, mostly Catholics, were forced to flee their homes and refugee camps were set up in the Republic.

The British Army was deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland, which marked the beginning of Operation Banner.

11th October

Three people were shot dead during street violence in the loyalist Shankill area of Belfast. Two were Protestant civilians (George Dickie and Herbert Hawe) shot by the British Army and one was an RUC officer (Victor Arbuckle) shot by the UVF. Arbuckle was the first RUC officer to be killed in the Troubles. The loyalists “had taken to the streets in protest at the Hunt Report, which recommended the disbandment of the B Specials and disarming of the RUC”.


The UVF detonated bombs in the Republic of Ireland. In Dublin it detonated a car bomb near the Garda Síochána central detective bureau. It also bombed a power station at Ballyshannon, a Wolfe Tone memorial in Bodenstown, and the Daniel O’Connell monument in Dublin

December A split formed in the Irish Republican Army, creating what was to become the Official IRA and Provisional IRA.

Leeson Street Patrol

Sourced from Pintrest

Corden Lloyd


If you wish to read how the Regiment got wrongly labelled

 and insulted in their Ancestral Home Peninsula Barracks.

Please go to the home page and enter FALLING PLATES in the search bar

Gun Battle for the Bakery

By Micheal Cuerden and James Standfield

The Bloody gun battle for the bakery began in Belfast at 0350 on the 9th Aug 1971.
That is when the army moved in to `The Markets` to flush out a gang of gunmen who had expelled the night shift at gun point.
Dawn was in the sky, but for the previous five hours soldiers had already engaged snipers from the fringes of the catholic area near the City Centre.

Around the Inglish Bakery, the largest in Northern Ireland, terrorist where believed to be waiting and the Army Command where convinced that an ambush was being set up. Last May they lost Corporal Robert Bankier, killed when his platoon was lured into the same area. So the four platoons 100 men of the 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets, waited until dawn.


Then they executed a`back door` pincer movement, it was just as well, as Eliza Street, the main approach to the Bakery , was sprayed with automatic fire from both ends as the soldiers began their approach. The encircled the narrow streets among the meanest of the City’s ghettos. From Lagan Street, Cromac Street and Stewart Street they gave covering fire while their main attack was spearheaded along McAuley Street.

The terrorist raked the streets with a Thompson sub-machine gun, 303 rifles and .22 small-arms fire, the fighting was SAVAGE.

0450 As the soldiers moved from doorway to doorway, one gunman was killed near the barricades of Market Street and Eliza Court.

0515 The soldiers had reached Bond Street. Two of the gang, one still armed, had been captured. But six terrorist where thought to be on the roof.

0550 The troops where outside the Bakery, but the doors where locked. As the smashed through them they where met with a spray of bullets.


Inside the building they where engaged in savage fighting with two men, believed to be fighting a rear guard action while the rest escaped. One is believed to have been hit.

An Officer said :`The place was like a rabbit warren, with hiding places everywhere,`

0615 The last shots where fired. Soldiers began the hazardous operation of searching the three floors.

Six people in the Bakery where handed to the police for questioning, five who where employees where later released.

0800 The building had been combed, the troops moved to the nearby houses. They had seen men running into the back door, out through the front and down the alley`s between the streets during the battle.

The search produced a 303 rifle from a drain and ammunition found on an outhouse roof.

0900 The army began to bulldoze the barricades. Five men where in police custody. All that remained where streets littered with debris, a 2 foot pile of bread and a pool of blood in Eliza Street.

” The Bakery “

Pipes and Ovens, Rollers to” What a place to Fight your way through”.
The smell of warm rotting bread,
A Walk-in the Park the Boss man said.
See a Gunman take a shot, Back it came just as Hot,was it a ricochet…I think not.
Moving forward bit by bit…Jesus Christ this place is Shit.
Along a Gantry,Down some stairs….Made it through…I’ll say some Prayers.

By fellow Rifleman
P. Pickford

The Green Jackets and The Royal Green Jackets

Major R N H Alers – Hankey

LCpl O M Alford

Rfn N A B Allen

Cpl R E Armstrong

Rfn M E Bagshaw

Bdsm G R J Baldwin

Cpl R Bankier

Wo2 G Barker

Bdsm M S Bayliss

Wo2 P J Bayliss

Rfn W N Beckley-Lines

Sjt E E Bedford

Bdsm R I Beer

Rfn C B A Bird

Rfn R S Blackledge

L.Cpl. M D Boswel

Rfn A E Brown

CSgt P J Bryant

Wo1 T J Byrne

Lcpl D Card

Sgt M A Cameron

Rfn C V Campbel

Rfn A C R Chapman

LCpl S J Chappell

Rfn K Chavner

Wo1 L Collins

Cpl C C Cook

Rfn A Cottriall

Rfn I J Coman

Lt Col Corden-Lloyd OBE MC

LCpl D J Cronin

Cpl R Cross

Rfn J A Cullen

Rfn R A Davey

CSgt D V Daws

LCpl G T Dean

Wo2 J P Devine

LCpl D J Dixon

Rfn H Donaghue

Rfn R Donkin

Rfn A Dunne

Wo2 B JDunwell

Rfn J A Dupee

Rfn A R Elliott

Cpl R Elliot

Rfn P K Ennals

Sgt S R Eyle

Rfn P C Fairway

Rfn D T Fenley

Cpl N J Fewell

Capt T P Fetherstonehaugh

Rfn S Fisher

J.Rfn P T Flaherty

Rfn T P Flint

Major T B Fowley

Sgt R F Fry

Rfn A Gavin

LCpl I R George

Rfn M E Gibson

Rfn E C Godfrey

Rfn D A Grainger

Rfn D Griffiths

Rfn M H Gray

Rfn M A Hamblin

LCpl W J Harris

Col P R Hayter MBE MC

Bdsm J Heritage

LCpl T W Hewitt

Rfn J C E Hill

Rfn R P Hill

Rfn D R Holland

Rfn D Hudaverdi

Rfn H M Hutton

Rfn F J Hunt

Rfn A D Jackson

Rfn C J Jackson

Brig T G H Jackson

Rfn L C Jamieson

Cpl E R P Jedruch

Rfn J R Joesbury

Rfn D Johnson

Rfn J P B keeney

Rfn A C Kelway

Rfn P J Keogh

Rfn J W King

Rfn J A Lagan

Rfn S D Lambourne

Officer Cadet D M H Litton

Cpl R A Livingstone

Cpl D Lepp

Rfn J I Mackenzie

Cpl M C Maddocks

Rfn N P Malakos

Wo1 C J Manning

Sgt A F Martin

Sgt P J Martin

Bdsm G J Measure

Brig A H S Mellor OBE

Rfn J Meredith

Rfn J Milward

Cpl I R Morrill

Rfn P Morris

Cpl M W Mosley

Rfn A Mulgrew

Rfn D A Mulley

Rfn D P McGarry

LCpl R I McGowan

Cpl J R McKnight

Rfn D R Mclaughlin

Cpl R P McMahon

Sjt R J Naylor

Rfn A J Newton

Capt (QM) W H Norbury

Rfn M F O`Sullivan

Cpl P M Patrick

Rfn D W Parfitt

Cpl M J Pearce

Cpl M Phillips

Cpl R Poole

Rfn K G Porter

Bdsm K J Powell

Major J R C Radclyffe

Rfn C J Radmore

Rfn A M Rapley

Rfn M P Reece

Rfn/Pte R B Roberts

Capt R F Rodgers

Sjt T J Ross

Rfn K J Rowland

Major H L Ruck-Keene

Rfn C Saunders

Rfn A E J Scarlet

Rfn J Scott

Rfn R A Sharpe

Rfn M V Sims

Rfn P J Simons

Col J S C Simmons

Rfn M R Sinclair

LCpl A Smith

Bdsm L K Smith

Rfn JS Smith

Rfn N W Smith

Sjt R A Smith

Rfn P B Smith

Cpl W J Smith

Rfn k J R Sutton

Lt Col M V W Tarleton

Rfn J W Taylor

Major T E F Taylor

Rfn W T Telfer

Wo2 K P Theobold

Rfn MR Thompson

Colonel P Treneer-Michell OBE

Sgt L S Ubhi

Rfn J Meredith

Cpl L D Wall

Rfn D Walker

Cpl E T Walpole

Rfn R M Walsh

CSgt S J Walton

Rfn C J Watson

Rfn R Watson

Rfn R MT Webster

Rfn C R Wild

Rfn C Williams

Rfn W H Williams

Rfn VC Windsor

LCpl G Winstone

Rfn M J Wood

J/Rfn R D Woodhouse

Rfn P W Virgo

Gunner Utterridge Attached to 3 RGJ 19th Oct 1984

Pictures from Facebook 

So what did the The Royal Green Jackets Leave at Peninsula Barracks ?

A Stone Badge at Peninsula Barracks, Winchester

With the Wrong Crown

The RGJ Stain Glass Window at the chapel at the ATR Winchester

The RGJ Badge bears the correct Crown but the wrong Bugle

in the centre of the RGJ Badge

The Ancestral Home of The Royal Green Jackets


Own the Copyright to the artwork used on the Memorial Project for the Memory and Tribute Chair.

This legal copyright which is a registered copyright, is for artwork which replicates

the RGJ and GJB  Cap Badges worn by the Riflemen and Officers during service with

The Regiment and many veteran service men.

The copyright was taken by MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD to protect the originality of the Cap Badges, thus protecting the honours within the Cap Badge, awarded for battle, Some Gave All . Whilst honouring those honours and protecting them, we also honour those that Gave, ALL GAVE SOME – SOME GAVE ALL. This copyright forms a shield of protection against those that are willing to allow the cap badge to be defaced in pursuance of monetary gain.  

There is only one original Cap Badge. MEMORIAL AT PENINSULA LTD do not endorse any other copies which are deemed to be fake.  

The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge

Green Jackets Brigade Cap Badge 

A Stone Badge outside Green Jackets Close

But is this crown correct? 

There are also no dots on The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge as below

The Royal Green Jackets Built on History and Traditions, Destroyed by Greed.




It has been brought to the attention of the Directors of Memorial At Peninsula Ltd that the Badge on the RGJ Memorial at The NMA is a Corporate / Commercial Badge and was never worn upon the beret, the Corporate Badge was sanctioned by

The Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association.

(Simple wording might have been better)

It has been written by one fellow Rifleman

“The Royal Green Jackets are the laughing stock of The Light Division”

Memorial At Peninsula Ltd and many others would disagree on that statement made, the many articles found on this site will take a visitor through a fine journey of illustrious history, we therefore feel the opening statement should refer to comradeship and laughter heard from those who formed a family of green a happy stock of finest infantrymen. SWIFT AND BOLD

This website contains information pertaining to The illustrious History of The Royal Green Jackets and its antecedent Regiments and our successors. The Royal Green Jackets chronicle which has been available for purchase from the Regimental Museum is also relied on for some of the website information, an example of this would be the Bryson Report, a Day in History made by The Royal Green Jackets.

Should you the visitor wish to find a specific article then by typing on the website search bar and you will be directed to the relevant page, an example would be the aforementioned article typing in “The Bryson report,” and you will be directed to the article.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our website and that the information contained within it is of Historical value.

Although Raised by Thomas Fowke`s in 1741

The 1st Bn RGJ was never known as 1st Bn RGJ (Fowke`s)

        1741 (Raised)

54th Regiment of Foot

renumbered in circa 1748

as the

43rd Regiment of Foot

1755 (Raised)

54th Regiment of Foot

renumbered circa 1757

as the

52nd Regiment of Foot


43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot

52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot


43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)

 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry)


The Oxfordshire Light Infantry


Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry


Green Jackets Brigade

1 Green Jackets (43rd & 52nd)


1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets

In 1992 1st RGJ was disbanded and 2nd  RGJ and 3rd RGJ renumbered 1st RGJ and 2nd RGJ respectively


Although Raised in 1755 62nd Regiment of Foot

The 2nd Bn RGJ was never known as 2nd Bn RGJ (62nd)

1755 (Raised)

62nd Regiment of Foot


renumbered as the

60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot


60th (Duke of York`s Own Rifle Corps)


60th (The King`s Royal Rifle Corps)


The King`s Royal Rifle Corps


Green Jackets Brigade

2 Green Jackets (KRRC)


2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets

In 1992 1st RGJ was disbanded and 2nd RGJ and 3rd RGJ renumbered 1st RGJ and 2nd RGJ respectively


Although Raised in 1800 as Experimental Corps of Riflemen

The 3rd Bn RGJ was never known as 3rd Bn RGJ (Experimental Corps)

1800 (Raised)


  Corps of Riflemen


The Corps of Riflemen


95th Regiment (Rifles)


The Rifle Brigade


The Prince Consorts Own

Rifle Brigade


The Rifle Brigade

(The Prince Consorts Own) (RB)


The Rifle Brigade

(Prince Consorts Own)


Green Jackets Brigade

3 Green Jackets (RB)


3rd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets

In 1992 1st RGJ was disbanded and 2nd RGJ and 3rd RGJ renumbered 1st RGJ and 2nd RGJ respectively

(The Royal Greens Jackets

then became 2 and 4 RIFLES in 2077)


A Rifle by Baker

A Jacket of Green

A Sword not a bayonet

No toast to the Queen

One forty per minute

With Rifles at trail

A Salute at the double

With Buglers wail

Silver badge and black buttons

First in & last out

Celer et Audax

Swift & Bold without doubt


Trev Penn 2009

Armistice Centenary 

1918 – 2018


Unknown Soldier by Philip Pickford


Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

King`s Royal Rifle Corps

Rifle Brigade


Our Copyright Certificates

2823192  and 2823193

Memorial At Peninsula

Memorial At Peninsula

The Website

Intellectual property of Memorial At Peninsula Ltd as seen on the Chairs, Transfers / Graphic Designs / Drawings of the following; the

Green Jackets Brigade Cap Badge and The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge.

It is noteworthy to remark that both of the above are unique to Memorial At Peninsula Ltd as they differ from from those supplied by The Ministry of Defence in United kingdom.

Both Badges that have been used and to which Memorial At Peninsula Ltd own the drawings / transfers and graphic designs are not supplied by The Ministry of Defence however The Ministry of Defence are aware of their usage and have documented consent this is due to the differences and no licence is required for their usage and that permission is granted although this is a courteous gesture as they do not hold the rights to the badges.

Should the need arise documentation to the above facts can be supplied.

©Memorial At Peninsula Ltd is protected under Copyrite

All content used on this site from the rgjra web site is from pre April 2014

Music License

Memorial At Peninsula Ltd is licensed  under the music and entertainments act.

MOD Officially Licensed Merchandise Companies

as of 08-10-12018

The History of

The Royal Green Jackets Cap Badge

The Crown, indicates that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the

Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Green Jackets.

PENINSULA, a Battle Honour awarded to all three antecedent Regiments after the Peninsular War,

The Royal Green Jackets major Battle Honour.

The Maltese Cross, both the 60th Rifles and The Rifle Brigade have worn a Maltese Cross since shorty after The Peninsular War.

The Bugle Horn, has long been the symbol of the Light Troops in The British Army,

all three antecedent Regiments have been wearing it since The Peninsular War.

The Laurel Wreath, The whole badge is encircled by the wreath of Victory.

COPENHAGEN April 1801, surmounting the navel crown.

A Battle Honour awarded to The Rifle Brigade

for the battle of Copenhagen.

The Royal Green Jackets motto Swift and Bold was adopted from

The former KRRC motto (Celer et Audax)


Don’t envy a man his medals, all those ribbons on his chest,
He did not try to get them, they’re not there at his request,
They were earned in stinking hell holes, where no man would like to go,
Or in cold and wintry places, where there’s only ice and snow.

He did not know he earned them, till they were awarded at parade,
They were bright when he first got them, but in time the colours fade,
He was told he had to wear them, and to wear them all with pride,
But when the memories come to haunt him, those same medals make him hide.

Cause those medals will not bring back, all those guys he left behind,
And he would trade them all forever, for a little peace of mind.
So don’t envy a man his medals, you don’t want to take his place,
Thinking back to long gone battles, and meeting dead friends face to face.

There is discipline in a Soldier, you can see it when he walks,
There is honour in a Soldier, you hear it when he talks,
There is courage in a Soldier you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in a Soldier that he will not compromise.

There is something in a Soldier that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in a Soldier that beats from his heart,
A Soldier isn’t a title, any man can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man, buried deep inside of you.

A Soldier’s job isn’t finished, after an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always a Soldier even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first, and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice, what comes first in a civilian’s mind.

If you are civilian, I am saying this to you,
Next time you see a Soldier remember what we do,
A Soldier is the one that is brave, protecting you and me,
And If you know A Soldier, I am saying this to you.

Sourced from You Tube

PeninsulaOur links to Peninsula barracks (1024) Barracks was formerly called the Rifle depot from 1858 to 1964, Then the name Peninsula was given to the upper part of the barracks due to the illustrious history of the Regiments antecedents and their involvement in the Napoleonic campaign. Previously the barracks had housed the Rifle Brigade from 1855 and had formerly been the recognised training depot from 1858. The barracks has been home to soldiers of the realm since 1741 until its closure in 1986. Peninsula Barracks has been known by the following names The Rifle Depot, Peninsula Barracks and also home of The Light Division. It was the Ancestral home to the Regiment’s forefathers, who have all amalgamated and renamed to form the Green Jackets and finally The Royal Green Jackets, the Green Jackets where given Royal accent thus being called The Royal Green Jackets. The long association between the City of Winchester and the Green Jackets has helped weave a rich tapestry of Military involvement and standing, one of which the community has held in high esteem. In 2007, the Regiment became a casualty of the Government’s restructuring of our Military forces and sadly the announcement came that The Royal Green Jackets where to be disbanded, thus bringing sadness to the City of Winchester, the family of the Regiment and the Colonel in Chief Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Barracks houses a Museum which is a showcase for historians young and old, however it is the aim and objective of the family of the Green Jackets, the Veterans who proudly remember their brothers, who did not return, to erect a Memorial. The Memorial will be a quiet place of reflection, to enable young and old and the future generations to honour all the men of green and those that have served and are members of the Green Jacket Family.

The Memorial has been a collaboration of designs between the Curators, who administrate the venture, and are members of the family of the Royal Green Jackets. Both have worked voluntarily and their design has now gone out to a commissioned Artist. The design is in keeping with the surroundings and will recapture the history of all who have amalgamated to form the Green Jackets and finally the Royal Green Jackets. It will be a step back and a march forward into history, carrying forward the men who stood shoulder to shoulder as brothers in arms, men of green in service to their Queen and Country.


This memorial in the form of a lasting tribute will remember, honour and salute those that are now resting High on a Hill at the Final RV, having lost their lives whilst serving with the Regiment during the years 1958 until 2007. The Barracks have been home to the men of green from 1856 until 1986 some 130 years. It is equitable to bring to the attention of our visitor, that during this time a short break of residency was taken whilst the barracks had modernisation. The Regiment did not relinquish ties at this time, hence they moved back in after modernisation, during that time the troops were housed in another camp two miles on the outskirts of Winchester.

Memorial At Peninsula Ltd are members of The Waterloo Association

Hilltop Florist window display

The Royal Green Jackets built on History and Traditions, Destroyed by Greed

Disclaimer; The RGJ Cap Badge shown on this site at the top left, is not an original RGJ Cap Badge worn by many proud service personnel, it is in fact the Corporate Badge of which we have no part as a Limited Company, this is not the Badge protected by Copyrite of Memorial At Peninsula Ltd.

Some of the reports on this site are about

The Troubles in Northern Ireland

and are Historical References in light of the Operation Banner

some 50 years of Troubles

Jim Bryson and Paddy Mulvenna

Relatives are now Fighting for Justice over the Killings 

(The Relatives for Justice report is in the link below if you wish to read it)