Monday, 24 July 2017

A Survivor of Dunkirk Recalls the Battle

I came across a newspaper article regarding a 97-year-old man and survivor of the Battle of Dunkirk who went to the premiere of the movie Dunkirk. He was amazed by the visuals of the film, which brought back his own sad memories of the battle. Here's an excerpt from the Global News article:

Theatre goers watching the premiere of Dunkirk at Calgary’s Westhills Cinemas on Friday night got a surprise encounter with a 97-year -old man who was at the battle in 1940.
The Battle of Dunkirk took place during the Second World War between the Allies and Nazi Germany in Dunkirk, France.
Calgarian Ken Sturdy, dressed in a jacket adorned with medals, viewed the movie and was impressed by what he saw.
'I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again,' Sturdy said.
'It didn’t have a lot of dialogue,' he added. 'It didn’t need any of the dialogue because it told the story visually and it was so real.'
'I was in those little boats picking them out of the water,' Sturdy said. He was a 20-year-old signal man with the Royal Navy helping evacuated soldiers reach waiting boats from the chaos on the beach.
'I had the privilege of seeing that film tonight and I am saddened by it because of what happened on that beach,' Sturdy said.

As the article points out, more than 68,000 British soldiers were captured or killed during the battle and retreat and over 300,000 were rescued over nine days.

Mr. Sturdy admonishes the younger generation to view the movie as an exploration of the moral implications of war:

'Don’t just go to the movie for entertainment. Think about it. And when you become adults, keep thinking,' Sturdy advised.
'Tonight I cried because it’s never the end. It won’t happen. We the human species are so intelligent and we do such astonishing things. We can fly to the moon but we still do stupid things. . . . So when I see the film tonight, I see it with a certain kind of sadness. Because what happened back then in 1940, it’s not the end.'

For the full text of the article and an accompanying video, please click here. 

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