The Battle and Massacre of Wormhout - 28th May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. noman

    noman Member

  2. noman

    noman Member

  3. faboss67

    faboss67 New Member

    This photo is not Wormhout's Church ! It's the church of Caestre ... ​
    Peccavi likes this.
  4. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member


    Church at Caestre
  5. robins2

    robins2 Active Member

    I have just come across this thread, it is a very moving tribute to the men who were murdered for no just reason, May They Rest in Peace, they will Not Be Forgotten.

    Very Well Done Andy, a stunning piece of work


    Bob R.
  6. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

  7. rewdco

    rewdco Senior Member

    Some more pictures from the same scene:

    Pre 1940:


    May 1940:







    And another picture from Drew:


    Drew5233 likes this.
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    The truck is Royal Artillery - it's got one of those geometrical battery(?) markings on the side:circular red/blue over yellow or white?
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Is there an AEC Marshal in the third 1940 picture down ? It looks like an AEC radiator and I can't imagine that a Matador could have lost its cab so cleanly above the waist line.
  10. rewdco

    rewdco Senior Member

    Indeed, that's definitely an AEC, don't know which model though...

  11. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member


    Sorry the photo is small - but typical vehicles of an AT unit are shown in the distance.

    Could the RA vehicle under discussion belong to an anti-tank troop? 53rd AT RA were present at Wormhout but there has always been a mystery about some presence of a "field gun".

    It is of course possible that the vehicle might belong to 63rd RA who were equipped with 18 pounders. They had blundered into Wormhout from Herzeele direction where they had destroyed all their guns before making for Dunkirk.
    Unfortunately they misread their map and turned into Wormhout instead of driving north to Dunkirk - a mistake which cost 19 lives.
  12. elaineb

    elaineb New Member

    What an incredible story, a sheer miracle that these five men survived. You must have spent many hours collating this information and have produced a very fitting tribute to those massacred. Thank you for your hard work, I hope the memorials are brought back to their former glory and preserved for future generations to learn about what happened there.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  13. slick

    slick Junior Member

    What an incredible read this thread has been. I knew about the Wormhout massacre but not in depth. It`s peculiar that no one was ever tried for the crime.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  14. rewdco

    rewdco Senior Member

    Another picture, with comments on the back:
    "29.V. Das zerschossene und noch brennende Wormhoudt."
    (May 29th, the bombed and burning village of Wormhout)


    Drew5233 likes this.
  15. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    "Ths video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content."

    Most likely the neo-Nazis have filed enough false complaints against it that it was automatically deleted.

    Someone who has a copy should repost it.
  16. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Thanks to Drew for this thread, with so much to see and read. I had saved it a few days ago and just finished reading it now.
    The bravery of so many men, and despicable cruelty of the Germans :mad:
    And shocking that not all those in charge were ever tried in court.
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Oh blimey...I don't know what you done but all my pictures are back :D

    Thank you !!!!
  18. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    All is well once more in the world of the 1940 obsessive !
  19. CJB

    CJB Member


    I have previously posted my interest in Wormhout and am still researching to fully understand the situation (battle) namely the gun positions etc. I visited Wormhout last year (2015) only briefly and of course the Massacre Memorial site. I have recently purchased a book by Jack Creed titled Mars & Venus "The Memories of a gunner 210 Worcester/Yeomanry 53rd Anti-Tank Regiment" which includes the action at Wormhout.
    My father was also in 210 Battery (possible A Troop) and was indeed in the middle of the action at Wormhout.
    I have a letter from TOM NICHOLLS which says :-
    "Frank's (my father) gun was about 200 yards away to my left firing at tanks coming down the Dunkirk Highway whilst I was firing across his front at other tanks coming from Esqelbecq".
    Jack Creed's book states :-
    "My own gun was positioned near a cafe pointing down a road which and was still very visible. TOM NICHOLS gun was in a back garden over the road".
    My brother remembers my father saying his gun position was alongside a road and was firing virtually horizontally at ground level.
    Jack Creed also states they decided it was every-man-for-himself which ties in with my father's description of the events. Jack Creed went through the graveyard (North?) and on to Dunkirk. My father went to Wylder (North East?) and then on to Bray-Dunes and evacuation.
    I understand from the Battery (210) and Regimental records the 53rd batteries were protecting the West? side of the town which is not very clear.

    Thanks for any help
    Simon_Fielding, Drew5233 and von Poop like this.
  20. MichaelFahey

    MichaelFahey Junior Member

    You have put a tremendous amount of work into the research of this Massacre, well Done.
    My Father Brian Fahey was one of the survivors being shot in the Firing Squad's 2nd wave of five. Had he remained in the Barn I doubt he would have survived and I wouldn't be writing this. Scouring the stories there are naturally some inconsistencies in the recollections of those few survivors, all now passed.
    On a holiday with my father in the 1980's, sitting, talking and drinking into the early hours. He regaled me with a graphic recollection of the circumstances after those the BEF (of which he was a RA Bombadier Territorial Soldier) were strategically left behind or were trapped by the Panzer divisions and German military.
    Without adding unnecessarily to your excellent account. Seeing the question re: Field Guns I thought you might like to know this. My Father told me exactly what happened when their 2 or 2 &1/2 Lb field guns. (Useless against the German Armour but of its creditable accuracy, "The most accurate Pea Shooter" in the world.) were being straffed by Stuka dive bombers and Germans were appearing to be everywhere. The Sergeant in charge of the six man gun crew said he was taking the men to get the truck and tender and would return for the gun. The Gun - all important that it should not fall into the hands of the enemy! My Father the Lance Corporal and number 2 on the gun-crew remained with the gun awaiting the return of his colleagues. He waited and waited - and waited! until the time for the men to return had passed. Whatever they were not able to do in term of returning with the truck, they had abandoned him! There was no excuse for not returning to retrieve him. He spiked (blew the gun up but putting a shell in the breech and one pointing down the barrel) the gun and made his way out alone to be shot in the leg, captured and marched to the site of the Massacre. His own account of the Massacre is earlier in these posts. The interesting thing for me about my Father is that he held no grudge against the Germans, indeed he liked them as people, after the War! - He did however despise Mohnke who he saw give the orders to execute all the prisoners - no doubt about that when I questioned as to how he knew this - he glared at me and said. "I was there - I know - you do not forget about things like that" However, the refined, educated and dignified person he was. To his dying day the person he despised most - was the Cowardly Sergeant on the Gun Crew - leaving him stranded without word. He always said that if he ever saw that man face to face he would strangle him with his bare hands!
    Untypical of my gentle Dad but underlines the principles he held dear. Walking voluntarily to be shot in front of a SS Nazi Firing squad is an act of defiant courage which was something he passed off lightly and would never discuss until he was a much older man.
    Who was that Sergeant and the rest of his cowardly crew?
    stolpi, Peccavi, Drew5233 and 4 others like this.

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