Wormhoudt Massacre

Discussion in '1940' started by Ali Hollington, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Marcus.....I'm good to you :D

    Google Earth

    Type in Wormhout

    Look between Wormhout and Esquelbecq. Follow the D17 from Wormhout to Esquelbecq and just outside Esquelbecq there is a road called Rue De Dunkirk Veterans. Follow its South until you get to the big cross.

    The barn is at the end of the footpath where you enter to rectangle field which is the whole memorial. Just above the left arm of the cross is the pond where Burt Evans and his Officer were shot by the SS trying to escape.

    The square in the centre of the cross is a small hill that looks out over the area with a map showing where units were and on what date.

    Hope that helps mate.

  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Attached the Google Earth link file below. This will get you there.

    Attached Files:

  3. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Drew you are the man. Nice one mate.
  4. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Cheers Paul.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Drew you are the man. Nice one mate.

    and Paul :D
  6. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    and Paul :D

    Already noted mate.

    Cheers to the both of you.
  7. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    No worries - I seem to be the only one on the forum using the ability to attach GE links!
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I did have a look Paul and I decided it was far to complicated for me.

    Just a thought.....I think the idea is excellent, maybe someone could take it on as a project ?

    Running away Andy
  9. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    marcus69x likes this.
  10. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Nice one Urqh. I think it was me who was looking for it. Been wanting to watch it again for some time. I'll have a look tonight when I get home.
  11. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    Uurgh-I discuss the BBC dramatized version in post number 6 of this thread. It is told from the point of view of Private Alf Tombs. Although it is a vivid depiction of the massacre it should be noted that the sequence of events shown does not agree with the eyewitness accounts presented to the Judge Advocate's office after the war and reproduced in Aitken: 'Massacre on the Road To Dunkirk'. In fact I use the BBC version, together with transcripts of the witness statements with my GCSE History students as a case study in the difficulty of recreating a real incident on film and reconciling different eyewitness accounts.
    Another example of this same difficulty is the later sequence where a Coldstream Guard subaltern deliberately shoots an officer from another British unit to prevent that unit withdrawing. Whether this incident actually happened in the manner depicted is a matter of considerable debate, to say the least. See also 'Band of Brothers' where the alleged shooting of prisoners on D-Day by an officer of 101st Airborne is presented as fact in one episode but left open to doubt later on in the series.
  12. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Mark, I agree, the BBC series is what it says on the box, a dramamentury. It in no way can be seen as an exact representation of events. Not just for this scene but for the whole series. However a member was interested in it and so its posted.

    I wouldnt agree on anyones version of events in any historical matter without doing research to my own satisfaction. I have read too many versions of history including our beloved ww2 to think that one persons view or thoughts are the facts on anything.

    If I was to believe what I see or read in the mainstream I would believe it was a jolly war, only officers ever attempted to escape from pow camps, and Ambrose and Spielberg are the fountain of all knowledge. Thankfully I dont believe any of that. However. drama entertainment has its role even if it attracts some who would not normally have even heared of ww2. And believe me as I'm sure you know, some havent.
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  14. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    The incident you refer to with the Coldstream I tend to believe as the officer involved refers to it in many other works. Including Their finest hour. The officer involved is not based on fact, he existed, was wounded and taken prisoner at Dunkirk.
    His recollection of this event is told many times in lots of works, so I guess you either believe his version of events or you dont. But he existed. He was there, he tells his story..Thats what vets do. I am certainly not in the position to disprove his version of that event. In fact in his case I tend to believe what he says.
  15. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    His later life was just as interesting as his BEF days. His wife had an interesting time of it too. But there is no doubt he existed. He told the story of the shooting incident in the rearguard. The rest is up to others to disprove if they have informaton to challenge his memories.

    As she stepped down from an RAF transport at Hendon airfield, Peggy van Lier was greeted on behalf of MI9 by Jimmy Langley, a handsome young Guards officer who in 1940 had lost an arm at Dunkirk and been taken prisoner.
    He had then escaped from a German military hospital at Lille, made his way across France under his own initiative, and after reaching Marseilles operated with an escape line before being repatriated in 1941. He soon became an important figure at MI9, where he worked closely with Airey Neave.
  16. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Didnt have to go far on here Mark. Seems our friends have already discussed this action. I notice too the same story is recounted by Langley in quite a few other books on Dunkirk I have just scanned on the old bookshelves. So unfortunately.We either believe his version of events or we dont. I do unless proved otherwise. A brave guy who went on to marry an equally brave woman. And owned books shops in later life to boot...Thats it.then....He's 100 percent in my book.

    Thanks to the other posters who already researched this.

    Originally Posted by Owen [​IMG]
    OC No 3 Company, 2nd Bn coldstream Guards. Major Angus McCorquodale.

    Dunkirk Fight To The Last Man Hugh Sebag-Montefiore. pages 424-425

    Initials: A
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Major
    Regiment/Service: Coldstream Guards
    Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
    Age: 34
    Date of Death: 01/06/1940
    Service No: 34851
    Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold McCorquodale; husband of Pamela McCorquodale.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Row A. Grave 2.

    CWGC :: Casualty Details

    found this quote of his on the net.
    This, presumably is same McCorquodale who was written about in Walter Lords book on Dunkirk.
    "The 2nd Coldstream Guards remained holding a line along Bergues-Furnes Canal, the 1st East Lancashire Regiment were also along the canal, but east of Bergues. Further along to the left was the 5th Borderers. On the other side of the canal was a party of the German infantry and about midday they managed to cross the canal. So desperate was the situation in relation to holding the perimeter, even officers were threatened should they disobey:
    An officer from the Borderers hurried over to Major McCorquodale's command post to warn that his battalion was exhausted and about to withdraw.
    "I order you to stay put and fight it out," the Major answered.
    "You cannot do that. I have overriding orders from my colonel to withdraw when I think fit."
    McCorquodale saw no point in arguing: "You see that big poplar tree on the road with the white milestone behind it? The moment you, or any of your men go back beyond that tree, we will shoot you."
    The officer again protested, but the Major had had enough. "Get back or I will shoot you now and send one of my officers to take command."
    The Borderer went off, and McCorquodale turned to Langley (Lt Jimmy Langley of the 2nd Coldstream Guards), standing nearby: " Get a rifle. Sights at 250. You will shoot to kill the moment he passes that tree. Are you clear?"
    McCorquodale picked up a rifle himself, and the two Coldstreamers sat waiting, guns trained on the tree. Soon the Borderer reappeared near the tree with two of his men. They paused, then the officer moved on past McCorquodale's deadline. The two rifles cracked at the same instant. The officer fell, and Langley never knew which one of them got him."

    These were desperate times.
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Does anyone know of a complete list of the soldiers that were murdered?

    I have looked through two books on the subject and the official files from Kew with no luck.

    Cheers for any help :)

  18. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    I have the book you mentioned the other day plus I think something else.But every site I have looked at does not give a ROH for those murdered.Just found this Worcestershire Regiment History (29th/36th of Foot) there is a Roll Of Honour by years and in alphabetical order, and it says its complete might take a while to find them but they should all be there.
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Sorry another trip coming up so stand by for a barriage of Q's?

    I was always under the impression until recently that those murdered at the barn were all buried in the Esquelbecq Cemetery a short distance from the Massacre Site. However on reading 'Massacre of the Road to Dunkirk' the author mentions that some of the bodies were taken to a cemetery in Wormhout as well as Esquelbecq.

    A quick seach under 'Wormhout' on CWGC as showed nothing.

    Any ideas?

  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

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