TRANSCRIPTION OF WAR DIARY JAMES M. WHITWORTH Mechanic - R.E.M.E. II P agc May 1940 (Dunkirk Campaign)

8 th May 1940 This hay 10ft will be our home for quite awhile. outGo and buy some nails this morning. Build a road this afternoon outgo tonight as interpreter for the boys. 9 th May 1940 Belgium and Holland. Take my washing to lady in the village. 10 th May 1940 We are paid 50 Francs today. I forgo a bath tonight at mobile bath unit Pauy-Sur Eune. 11th May 1940 On guard tonight. Old Fred arrested for attempting to shoot S/Sgt. Brown. Sunday 12th May 1940 At 10.30 hrs the C.O. tells us we move off at 13.35 hrs. I dive into the village to collect my washing and as luck would have it it has just been finished. Cost me 3 Francs. We move off and arrive at Brentville 22.00 hrs. Travelled through Beavais etc. at great speed. Somebody has just told me it is WhitSunday today. I got quite a shock. We sleep in another bam tonight. Jim Strachan slept with some cows. 13 th May 1940 Those cows did not like Jim Strachan last night. He had a job to clean himself this morning. Move up through Amiens Albert with it's fine cathedral. Bridge bombed at Fortesquense make a big detour. Pass through big Military Cemeteries. Arrive at Orchis at 19.00 hrs. This place has been bombed to hell. We have to sleep where we can tonight. Jim Strachan and I find a haystack. It is horrible to see all these refugees on the road. 14th May 1940 Move off at 04.00 hrs cross Belgian Frontier at 09.30 hrs. All these towns are being bombed to hell. The convoy stopped for traffic at Enghein and a lady brought us two cups of coffee. I asked her in French if she would buy us some bread and butter. She bought us some and I gave her 10 Francs. She wanted to bring us change but it was only then that we realised we had been upholding the convoy the others were well in front we beat a hasty retreat. We arrived in Saintes on the outskirts of Halle - 8 miles from Brussels at 12.00 midday. About an hour later a plane dropped two men by parachute in the woods we went outwith rifles to shoot on sight we did not find them. About 14.00 hrs "Jerry" overcame to bomb us. A.A. responded but firing was wild and only one was brought down. Still it was great to see him diving to his doom. Before he landed he dropped by parachute the boys went after him -they killed him. 31Page
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