This day 80 years ago, the Dunkirk evacuation came to an end. While the Battle of France was, in Winston Churchill’s words, a “colossal military disaster”, the evacuation was a relative success with over 338,000 Allied troops evacuated off the beaches and back to this country.
At this time, the American Ambulance didn’t actually exist. Although plans were underway for the start of operations, the Board of Trade didn’t issue them their license until 10 days after the end of Dunkirk on the 14th June 1940. The American Ambulance were fully up and running by Mid July however I know little of what happened in June. I believe that they already had acquired some vehicles and were starting to operate within a few weeks of their incorporation so it is likely that they had some impact on the redistribution of casualties around the country after Dunkirk.
For this weeks Dunkirk related post I thought I’d share one of the items I first put on this blog. This is a Dutch helmet that was given to a member of the American Ambulance by a soldier. They transported this soldier and he was one of many who were evacuated from Dunkirk.
On the helmet the solider engraved“ A Amoureús Dutch Troops”
This is a lovely helmet with a great story linking it not only to Dunkirk but the early days of the American Ambulance.