Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Nov 5, 2011.
Boulogne 23rd May to 25th May 1940
Extracts from War Diary No. 43 of Major W.A. ACKERS (LOYAL REGIMENT) Commanding 81st Company A.M.P.C., B.E.F., FRANCE.
Report of position and steps taken at BOULOGNE, FRANCE, 23rd/25th May, 1940.
Lieutenant-Colonel DEAN, V.C., commanding No. 5 Group A.M.P.C. passed word to me by Major GAYDEN, 102 Company, to keep troops from leaving the warehouse on the Fish Quay, which would have interfered with the embarkation on destroyers alongside GAR MARITIME. The warehouse was packed with troops and refugees, the latter making it very difficult to keep all under control, and the enemy continually firing on to and in the said building ……. In the absence of Officer of other Companies, I considered it my duty to take command of remaining A.M.P.C. troops left after the departure of the destroyers, having received information to the effect that a further destroyer would be alongside about 0400 hours on the 24th to evacuate the remainder of the troops. As this did not materialise, the situation demanded defensive measures being taken owing to the enemy again commencing dive-bombing and shelling the quay.
The only weapons available were four Anti-Tank guns and two Bren guns, plus rifles, with which we had to cover a fairly wide area, ammunition being collected on the quay side. With these weapons we managed to hold the enemy off from that side of BOULOGNE until about 1230 hours on the 15th, by which time the enemy got through.
Right on top of our defences were two tanks, which made the matter of the defence practically an impossibility - we were called upon to surrender. This decision was taken after due consideration, in preference to further heavy losses. …… It was about 1340 hours when we actually surrendered. It should be noted that water had been cut off early in the week.
Four gallons of water were obtained under heavy fire from snipers situated in the building top opposite. The enemy had set fire to the railway coaches, motor vehicles and the station.
Some further info:
Upon the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Donald Dean went to France as Officer Commanding No. 5 Group Auxilliary Pioneer Corps. The group took part in the defence of Boulogne and during the fighting Dean was blown up and was incorrectly reported as dead. His unit eventually covered the withdrawal of the Guards when they were being taken off the beaches at Dunkirk. After his arrival back in England Dean was promoted Lieutenant Colonel.
DONALD DEAN VC
Just found these in 81 Company, AMPC war diary for May. Whilst one is a copy of the above transcribed by Di the other is a German account by Lieutenant Balck
Separate names with a comma.