Dunkirk Evacuation

Dunkirk Help - Kent

From the Women’s page by Elvira

The level of help at the evacuation of Dunkirk spread far further than just the small ships. Look at some of the things people of Kent gave.


Sleep still impossible. I have been idly turning the few pages of “Kent.” There are some portions of great interest referring to the part Kentish towns and villages played during the great evacuation of Dunkirk.  It is a little startling to read that at Paddock Wood a bacon cutter cut up 1,500 loaves from the Sunday to the Tuesday of that memorable week.  Local Scouts and guides worked in two-hour shifts.  At Headcorn alone 36,000 loaves, 6,000 bananas, 6,000 apples, 6,000 oranges, 8,000 eggs and 100,000 cups of tea were given out between Wednesday and Friday.  Not bad under emergency conditions.

Headcorn is little more than a sleepy, sprawling village warming itself in the sun.  Paddock Wood, the terminus every autumn for the hop-pickers, is perhaps a little better equipped for dealing with shipping orders.

If London is losing her gracious beauties, Kent too, is losing her simple yet no less gracious country beauties.

To-day, owing to enemy action, I watched a mighty barn, noble in form and stature, mellow with many Summer suns, burned right out and lost, at any rate in its past gracious outline, for ever.  Its thatched roof, after the long drought, went like feathers before the flame, and the moon rose to light only the blackened naked beams, arched and lovely even so, where last night the great roof threw an ink black shadow….

Even as the bombing of Buckingham Palace has stirred the slow-to-anger Londoners, so the resing of their landmarks wakes to fury the peaceful countryman.  He asks himself in a dazed sort of way, how has England come to such a pass as this?

Printed in the Bromley & District Times, September 1940

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