May 31st/June 1st 2018
After a speedy boarding and a very quick journey through the tunnel the train coughed us up in Calais. We were soon on the busy road heading towards Dunkirk.
We headed to Dunkirk to visit the War Memorial, my mother who is 96 this year lost one of her brothers William Henry Davies during World War 2, whilst doing family tree research I discovered that he was captured during the retreat to Dunkirk and spent 4 years in a prisoner of war camp in an area that is now in Poland. No one knows exactly how he died, it is surmised that he died on the long march when the German army retreated from the Russian advance, there is no body so no grave, it is believed someone collected his i.d tags. His death is recorded as October 1944 aged 34 years on one of the columns at the War Memorial in Dunkirk cemetery, details of the memorial are available on Google.
It may seem bizarre to be visiting this memorial on the day we were going to stay with German friends, but the World has moved on. Our fathers were in the opposing armies during the war, my father in the medical corps and Wolfgang’s father was 15 years old and made to join up in the last few months of the war, neither firing a bullet in anger, I’m sure they would have made as good friends as Wolfgang and I do.
We continued our journey into Belgium and just before entering Holland topped up with fuel, afterwards Homer didn’t run well and we limped the final part of the journey through Holland and into Germany at a slow speed with Homer cutting out when I stopped, he is currently in a garage being inspected to find the problem. It’s possible I may have put the wrong fuel in!
We had a pleasant first evening here sitting in the garden working our way through several bottles of wine and catching up on news.