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  #1  
Old 27-08-2017, 05:08
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Default Reflections on Dunkirk.

I have just seen the latest film on Dunkirk and thought it was reasonably historically correct. I think much more should have been made of the role the "Little Ships" played particularly how the authorities managed to collect together all the boats from many locations and get them to Dunkirk in time to be of any use. Some of the boats made several trips into the Dunkirk beach over a period of days to ferry troops to the destroyers and the really small boats were lashed together being towed by a tug or similar. Where I lived at the time in Thorpe Bay just out of Southend-on-Sea with my grandparents, I can remember my grandfather coming home from shopping telling us all the talk was 'where had all the local boats gone'. The Southend lifeboat, the Leigh cockle boats and the sail and powered Thames barges which usually tied up at the old Southend Gasworks jetty had disappeared. Censorship, no social media and news blackouts in those days meant the full story was not known until days later helped by the appearance of hundreds of troops disembarking at Dover and other seaside towns along the south coast. jonti
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2017, 16:45
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Jonti, thanks for starting this thread.

A role portrayed by Kenneth Branagh in the film, but no credit given to the real hero, is that of the Canadian piermaster, Commander Clouston. Seventy-seven years later, a determined effort is under way in Canada to get him the recognition he deserves.

For those interested, the Globe and Mail's coverage can be found at https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/new...beandmail.com&

A nice quote ".....Commander Clouston, a war hero who didn't kill anybody. He saved people. How much more Canadian can you get than that?"

If anyone can contribute anything about him, please put it here!

Mike
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2017, 23:08
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannet driver View Post
Jonti, thanks for starting this thread.

A role portrayed by Kenneth Branagh in the film, but no credit given to the real hero, is that of the Canadian piermaster, Commander Clouston. Seventy-seven years later, a determined effort is under way in Canada to get him the recognition he deserves.

A nice quote ".....Commander Clouston, a war hero who didn't kill anybody. He saved people. How much more Canadian can you get than that?"

If anyone can contribute anything about him, please put it here!

Mike
Fascinating Mike - I must admit that, like most Canadians, I had never heard of this man.

I wonder whether the lack of attention on this side of the pond is partly due to his being an RN officer, rather than a member of the RCN, rather like Captain Frederick Thornton Peters of Oran fame, who again is little known to most Canadians.

Thanks for bringing Cdr Clouston to our attention.

Hopefully his deeds will receive some form of official recognition.

Thread on Captain Peters here:

http://www.worldnavalships.com/forum...ghlight=peters
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:32
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Thanks for the posts,guys. The last thing I expected when I started the thread was to get 2 responses from Canada but that is one of the strengths of this website. On a personal note about the troops returning to UK, not all were sent to their home barracks or on leave. An uncle, whose wife had had their first child just before Dunkirk, was in an Army lorry that drove past the end of his street in London without his being able to stop briefly and on to Scotland by train. He then had a classic infantryman's war in going to North Africa and walking from there through Italy and Europe before eventually seeing his new born for the first time in 1945. How's that! jonti
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  #5  
Old 17-09-2017, 23:12
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

More on Commander Clouston

I’m delighted to add this. At today’s wrap-up of the Kingston Symphony Book Sale I picked up a small item – “The Nine Days Wonder” an account of Dunkirk by John Masefield, the poet.

It was published in 1943 and is full of “at the time” accounts – BUT, it pays unquestioned and real gratitude to Commander Clouston more than once. I’ve scanned the pages and would be happy to email to anyone interested. I’ve attached the initial comment below, the later one extends over 2 pages.

Mike
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Old 18-09-2017, 12:31
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Apologies! Meant to do this last night. Pleased to manage all related pages.

Mike
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Clouston, p4.jpg (331.1 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Clouston, p45.jpg (210.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Clouston, p46.jpg (580.7 KB, 16 views)
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  #7  
Old 18-09-2017, 17:29
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

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Originally Posted by Gannet driver View Post
Apologies! Meant to do this last night. Pleased to manage all related pages.

Mike
Thanks for this Mike.
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  #8  
Old 21-09-2017, 20:38
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Finally, some recognition:

(From CBC News)

Montreal-born unsung hero in WW II's Battle of Dunkirk honoured at Lachine Canal

"As an unsung hero of the Battle of Dunkirk, a Montreal-born Canadian commander was finally given his due today with a commemoration in his native city for his contributions during the Second World War.

A new plaque, unveiled by Parks Canada on the Lachine Canal in front of the late British Royal Navy officer's family and friends, pays tribute to the significant role Cmdr. James Campbell Clouston played in the "Miracle of Dunkirk" during the spring of 1940.

"We're so proud of him," said his son Moray Clouston, who was present for the ceremony.
"

Complete article here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montre...ston-1.4300336
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Old 21-09-2017, 22:27
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

More on Commander Clouston at link below. It explains that Branagh was a composite character primary based on Clouston. His younger brother Commander Bill Clouston, also RN, commanded three or four destroyers during the war, and when he had Scorpion put a torpedo into Scharnhorst at North Cape.


http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/let...h-dunkirk-film
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  #10  
Old 22-09-2017, 10:58
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Thank you, Tim! I will try to contact the family, who are welcome to the book I picked up.

Mike
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  #11  
Old 22-09-2017, 19:13
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

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Originally Posted by Gannet driver View Post
Thank you, Tim! I will try to contact the family, who are welcome to the book I picked up.

Mike
A very kind gesture Mike - I'm sure they will appreciate it.
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Old 22-09-2017, 23:14
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Tim, I would be delighted, it only cost me $1.00 at the local Symphony book sale. The only frustration here is trying to get a link to the family, any help welcomed!

As I finally admit to being old, I get a great delight out of passing things on for people to see, share and enjoy rather than have them sit on my shelf. And I was so pleased when people passed on to me real memories of the father I cannot remember - he was on his way back to the UK to get his own destroyer command, aged just 28. I was not quite 2.

Mike
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  #13  
Old 22-09-2017, 23:21
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Default Re: Reflections on Dunkirk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannet driver View Post
Tim, I would be delighted, it only cost me $1.00 at the local Symphony book sale. The only frustration here is trying to get a link to the family, any help welcomed!

As I finally admit to being old, I get a great delight out of passing things on for people to see, share and enjoy rather than have them sit on my shelf. And I was so pleased when people passed on to me real memories of the father I cannot remember - he was on his way back to the UK to get his own destroyer command, aged just 28. I was not quite 2.

Mike
Mike:

Leave it with me for a week or so - I think I know someone who knows the family.

Will get back to you as soon as I have made contact,
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