Dunkirk veterans forget hostilities and visit German paratroopers

Dunkirk veterans forget hostilities and visit German paratroopers

Members of the Dunkirk Veterans’ Association and their wives were heading to Duisburg in Germany in October 1967 as guests of former German paratroopers.

All memories of hostility that existed between the two groups during the Second World War were forgotten.

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We published a similar photograph in 2016 of the party preparing to leave by coach from Cowley Road, Oxford.

This picture, from a different angle, was found by a reader in her family archives.

The presence of an accordion in the front row suggested there was going to be plenty of musical entertainment on the journey.

This was the second time the British and German ex-servicemen had met that year.

Our sister paper, The Oxford Times, reported: “After travelling overnight, they arrived in the Ruhr Valley town, where they were guests of members of the Duisburg branch of the German Paratroopers’ Association.

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“The visit, coinciding with the October Feast in Germany and the new season’s beer brew, was a return one, the Germans staying in the homes of Dunkirk Veterans’ Association members in February.”

The association was formed to help members and their families after the hasty evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk.

Many of the troops took part in later operations which led to the Allied victory in 1945.

Operation Dynamo, the evacuation from Dunkirk, involved the rescue of more than 338,000 British and French soldiers from the French port of Dunkirk between May 26 and June 4, 1940.

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The evacuation, sometimes referred to as the Miracle of Dunkirk, was a boost for British morale.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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  • June 25, 2023