Meet Dunkirk Veterans from the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships

 

6 September 2016 

Shiver me timbers, there's a awful lot of Bentley motor cars here!

In May 1965 to mark the anniversary of ‘Operation Dynamo’ Raymond Baxter the famous TV presenter organised and assembled a fleet of 43 original Little Ships of Dunkirk, but this was separate from the Dunkirk Veterans Association which was formed soon after1940 and continues to this day.

No member of the original Dunkirk Veterans can today be younger than 95 years old, but today we still had many who attended today that were certainly into their late 90’s.

For the last seven years we in the Bentley Club have given support to both these Associations when the Veterans sail in those ancient craft from Thames Motor Yacht Club upstream to Weybridge where they have a celebration luncheon at the Weybridge Mariners Club and afterward are then returned to the Thames Motor Yacht Club at Hampton Court by a stream of old and modern Bentleys.

Guy chats to Keith Barton and John Anderson

Today we fielded 14 Bentleys ranging from a 1921 3 litre Bentley (Chassis no 15)  driven by John Anderson,  to the newest car in our Fleet, a 2011 Continental Bentley GT driven by Guy Talbot.

The 14 members attending were:

John Anderson - 3 litre 1921

Guy Talbot - 2011 Continental GT Bentley.

Jeremy Barrett - S1 Drop-head

Bob Zannetti  - !963 S3

Ben Reve -  1957 Flying Spur

Harry Waddingham -  Mulsanne

Peter Flood - R Type Bentley

John & Silvia Seymour  -  Julian’s Bentley

Colin Lightman - Arnage

John Summers - 1944 Willys Jeep

Mike Tanner - Turbo R

Colin Mitchell - Brooklands wild berry

Keith Barton - 3 litre 1924 (Friend of John Anderson – live in same village)

Jeremy & Sally Drayson -  1958 Flying Spur

Today 14 of the Little Ships were in the flotilla and 79 Veterans and their carers which included seven Chelsea Pensioners looking resplendent in their red coats, were transported back to the Thames Yacht Club mainly by us but with just a little help from two Rolls and three Jaguars and three other vintage cars including a wonderful 1920’s Vauxhall, but I didn’t get to speak to the driver who was a bit stand offish and I’m sure was overcome by our very strong Bentley present..

Our change of lunch venue from the ‘Minnow’ to the ‘Old Crown’ seemed to be a great success with many complimenting me on their excellent roast beef lunch which was very good value. , but I like three others stuck to the old Bentley members favourite of double egg, ham and chips which was also very good. All in all a successful day enjoyed by us all, and particularly expressed by so many of the Veterans and their carers on their way back to Hampton Court.

 

Guy Talbot

 

Since Guy penned the above I have received some pictures taken by a serviceman who was at the luncheon with familial connections.

 

This Wing Commander was captured by the Japanese at the age of 7 - he never saw his parents again.

Arthur Taylor Aircraftman Second Class RAF was serving in 13 Lysander Squadron in Dunkirk. Arthur was directing Artillery Fire as a Ground Radio Operator. Lysander took heavy losses and Arthur departed Dunkirk on the trawler Lord Gray. A fuller version is available on http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/veteran-leads-dunkirk-parade-31247967.html. He is seen here with a Pearly Queen

Dunkirk Veterans on the balcony of their dining Club, Arthur, approaching his 96th birthday, can be seen middle back row.

Dunkirk Veteran, Arthur Taylor, waves to the crowds in Dunkirk in 2015