LETTER: Reflecting on act of sterling heroism

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Once again, on Remembrance Day, the nation has had the opportunity to salute the ultimate sacrifice and sterling acts of heroism shown by the citizens of the UK, the Commonwealth and beyond, who served our nation during both World Wars and the more recent conflicts.

One important aspect about the Second World War should be kept very much in mind;

In 1940, King George VI called for a national day of prayer, because our situation was so desperate.

We were at our lowest point with our army trapped in France, at Dunkirk.

I have personally seen a photograph, kindly supplied by Mr J. Willans, of anxious, frightened citizens, in a queue up to a mile long, waiting to get into Westminster Abbey to pray.

Two amazing events followed; first, a violent storm arose over Dunkirk, grounding the Luftwaffe which had been killing thousands on the beaches.

Secondly, a great calm descended on the channel, the like of which hadn’t occurred for a generation, enabling the hundreds of tiny boats to rescue 338,000 soldiers, rather than the expected 30,000.

It was the timing of these events immediately after the day of prayer which led people to speak of ‘The Miracle of Dunkirk’.

At the end of 1942, after the tide had turned in the war, Churchill was moved to say, “I sometimes have a feeling of interference, I want to stress that. I have a feeling sometimes that some guiding hand has interfered.”

K. Calder


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