Yet more information on Harry's positions, from the diary of Capt. E H Jones od 2nd Gloucesters, and a map from Dave Hinson showing a possible location for the cottage where he destroyed his fourth tank.
John West sent me information about an online battlefield tour from Battle Guide virtual tours - 1940 - Retreat to Dunkirk. It covers the build-up to the Nazi advance, and the defensive line that only gradually fell back to allow the bulk of the BEF to get off the beaches at Dunkirk, with a significant part on the defence of Cassel. At several points in the tour the Nazi advance is shown coming from the south east, and at 40 minutes in immediately before Harry's description of his action it clearly shows the attack coming from almost due south, which seems to be strong evidence that when Harry destroyed his four tanks he wasn't on the D11 Calais/Gravelines road as he wrote, but on the D933 St. Omer road.
I came across this eBook in my local library - 'The Boy who Drew Auschwitz' by Thomas Gieve which recounts his experiences as a 13 year-old mixed-race German-Jewish boy surviving nearly two years of slave labour at Auschwitz Birkenau. Towards the end of the war they were forcibly transferred west to Buchenwald to escape the advancing Russians, much like the POWs in The Long March. The early part of this was also on foot where many died at the roadside, but just like Harry when he recounted how they were only kept alive in Poland at one point by local people throwing potatoes over the camp fence, Thomas Gieve writes "The Polish peasants were much more courageous than I expected them to be. When we passed their villages, stubborn old women stood at the kerb handing out milk - even at night. They were beaten by the guards, who were infuriated at not receiving such favours for themselves, but that did not deter them."
On release and after recuperation in Switzerland he writes how he joined the many thousands setting up a Jewish homeland. This displaced Palestinian people, a process that continues to this day.
Looking out some information for our grandson following the below trip I spotted some information about Stalag 383 in period copies of The Prisoner of War, a newsletter sent by The Red Cross to families with POWs.
After coming across Harry's story Lisa Hughes has written to me about her father. Albert Tipping was also in 53 (Worcestershire Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regt. serving under Major Cartland. After that his story is quite different to Harry's, but equally remarkable and well worth including here, with Lisa's kind permission.
I have been contacted by the author of an extensive web site on 140th (5th London) Army Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, their story between the 10th and 31st May 1940 - Operation Dynamo and the evacuation of Dunkirk. Mirroring Harry's experiences from call-up, through the BEF in France and Belgium, the author's father Eric West was also at Cassel. Of particular interest to me is The Breakout covering the departure from Cassel and the 'every man for himself' attempt to reach Dunkirk until they ran into enemy forces which resulted in the death of several officers and men, and capture of Eric West and Harry. The events describing meeting these enemy forces are very similar to how Harry described them, and further researches (not yet on the web site) have almost certainly narrowed that point down to a cross-roads on the Douvieweg road about 2km east of Watou, just over the border into Belgium.