Around Britain at War

WAR WEAPONS WEEK, PAISLEY : DECEMBER 1940 A view looking down on Barshaw Park hung with buntings. Crowds of civilians are gathered to look at a display of artillery, tanks and a captured German Messerschmitt 109 fighter aircraft. A War Artists Advisory Committee commission- Alexander Macpherson.
Cecil Beaton print of Women’s Royal Navy Service (Wrens) at work in a Royal Navy Fleet Mail office, London, December 1940.
General Sir John Dill, Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS), inspecting parachute troops at the Central Landing Establishment at RAF Ringway near Manchester, December 1940.
Pilot Officer H M Stephen tries his hand with a rivet gun, watched by Flight Lieutenant J C Mungo-Park and workers at an aircraft factory, one of a series of morale-boosting visits by RAF pilots to Ministry of Aircraft Production facilities. Both pilots served with No. 74 Squadron RAF and were veterans of the Battle of Britain; Stephen having achieved 22 victories by the end of 1940, and Mungo-Park about 11. In April 1941, Mungo-Park assumed command of No. 74 Squadron but was killed in action over France on 27 June.
Admiral J C Tovey, CB, DSO, new C in C Home Fleet on the quarterdeck of HMS NELSON.

HMS Kelvin rescues escaped prisoners of war, ending five months of thrills and adventures. December 1940, on board HMS Kelvin. Eighteen men standing on the deck of a neutral cargo boat, cheered the Kelvin as it came to rescue them, and end five months of adventures for thirteen of the eighteen rescued men. The thirteen were members of the 51st Highland Division who were captured in June 1940 during the German advance on the Somme. One night headed by their Major, they escaped, eventually reaching Vichy where they somehow managed to obtain French military uniforms. From Vichy they made their way to the south of France, where they obtained uniforms of the Foreign Legion, together with forged papers, and got to Morocco where they were interned. They they escaped again, reaching Casablanca, where they slipped aboard the Portuguese cargo vessel. Once at sea they declared themselves to the skipper, the ship continued on its journey to Portugal despite this. Fifteen miles out HMS Kelvin arrived at the scene and decided to investigate the ship, and took the men off along with two Frenchmen on their way to join General de Gaulle’s Free French Army, Two British Airmen, and One Austrian refugee.

A view of the neutral Cargo ship as it awaits a boarding party from HMS Kelvin.
The whaler coming alongside the KELVIN.
Some of the escapists shaking hands with the gun crew of HMS KELVIN after arriving on board.

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