I have been in two minds about whether to post this song in a forum that deals with historical facts, as it addresses the feelings and fears of my father, his experience of Dunkirk and the effect that it had on him for the rest of his life. Although he always described himself as a "Despatch Rider" at Dunkirk I do not know for sure if he was in Signals, although he was earlier in Ops in the RE. He said that at Dunkirk he was tasked with finding groups of men (apologies that I cannot be more technical!) and directing them to beaches where they would be picked up. Also that he was told to return back towards Dunkirk to another beach. (Again, apologies for the vagueness and the lack of detail in my memories.) My father did not talk to me directly ever about his fears during Dunkirk - I only learned about them in his lifetime from overheard conversations. His stories to his family were always more practical or of "derring do" - mending his motorbike to carry on his journey, that sort of thing. However, after my father's death, in 1994, his "war time friends" told me that he talked of little else but the horror of Dunkirk. I also discovered from the British Legion, who had been pursuing a claim on his behalf for a wartime eye injury, that immediately after the evacuation he had been sent to a psychiatric field hospital. After that, he went AWOL, then was found and returned with no disciplinary action and was later discharged with a good record but as unfit for further service. (I think I found out that the code used was one for "invaliding".) With that background, I hope it will be understood that I do not seek to be contentious by saying that the fears that haunted him were not just to do with the very reasonable expectation that he might be killed at any moment. For whatever reason, he also feared that the evacuation plan included both "rescue beaches" and "decoy beaches", ie. that he might be responsible for directing some groups of men to certain death. Further, that his instructions to return towards Dunkirk would likely lead him to no place of safety at all. In the event, he said that he had been picked up from a small, sheltered cove. When I was writing this song, I researched personal and official accounts of the Dunkirk evacuation. I could not find any evidence to support the fears that my father had. Neither do I have any proof of the reality of his memories or the truth of his accounts of what happened. How much he embroidered or, alternatively, what he hid from himself or others, I do not suppose I will ever know. The fact that his fears, both about "misdirecting" others and about his own instructions, might have been entirely misplaced is not really relevant. For all I know, those "fears" might have been "made up" after the event, to give a more "macho" spin on his experience. That is, to conceal his more visceral, obvious, natural - and I suspect to him "shameful" - fears while in that awful place of death and destruction. What I do know is that, by the accounts of people who knew him before and after, that he was never the same again. Talking to an older friend of mine, whose father was in WWI, was also revealing. We discovered that we had had similar experiences of dealing, as children, with a parent suffering with what we would now recognise as PTSD. It is not pleasant. So, finally, some friends who have been in more recent war zones have found this song disturbing for the emotions it evoked in them. Do you do "trigger warnings" here? If so, perhaps this might need one. Apologies for the lengthy explanation. I hope that if you have read it that you understand my caution and the reason for giving it. My intention in this song is to believe in my father's account of his experience of Dunkirk and to recognise and honour just a little of the impact on him of PTSD. Best wishes, Liz Panton ps. I had to substitute "ruddy" for "bloody" as this was being broadcast and I was told, "no swearing!"