On this day in Yorkshire 1940

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Burley man spent 21st Birthday on Dunkirk Pier

The first two Burley men to return home from Belgium and Dunkirk are Private Robert Brown, of Back Lane, Burley-ln- Wharfedale, and Private Charles Bradley, Manse Rood. Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Both were members of the Territorials and returned home together.

Private Brown, who is a married man with four children, described to a reporter their experiences during the retreat.

He acted as Lewis gunner after he got out to France and on one occasion while they were being attacked by two bombers, he and men armed with Bren guns opened fire on the German ‘planes.

They had the satisfaction of bringing one of them down. At one time the Germans had then trapped in a horse-shoe formation, cutting them off from the coast, but the infantry pushed the enemy back, and Private Brown and the remainder of the party moved through the gap thus created to Dunkirk.

He was on the beach there for 17 hours, he said, bombed and machine-gunned all the time and bombed again when he got on board ship.

Private Bradley said they were given hardly any rest; no sooner had they moved from one place to another than they were bombed by formations of as many as 50 and 100 ‘planes.

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