Dunkirk80 - ‘Hold to the last round, to the last man.’ OTD the desperate rearguard battle to hold the decreasing perimeter around the town still raged and was only intensifying. One of those caught in its midst was 2/Lt Jimmy Langley of the 2/Coldstream Guards.
He and his platoon had been dug in on the Bergues-Furnes canal, Langley had setup his HQ in this cottage. Sat 1 June was to be anything but quiet, as the dawn mists cleared, and first contact was made with the enemy who had been digging in around these fields opposite Langley’s position, and the Coldstream Guards held no punches back.
Later on the Germans now aware to Langley’s position, tried using civilians for cover, but the attack was repulsed. They then brought up an A/T gun which put a round straight into the attic where Langley and his bren guns had been setup, but they forced it to withdraw.
During a short respite later that day following a repulsed German attack, Langley joined a few of his fellow brother officers at their CO’s HQ. Angus McCorquodale, Bob Combe, Pop Wyatt and Jimmy shared a sherry together. It was sadly to be the last time they would all be in the same room together - in less than 24 hours only Langley would still be alive.
The fighting only intensified, reaching a crescendo in the early evening, when Langley, sniping in the attic, was hit by a German shell. He was evacuated by ambulance to 12th Casualty Clearing Station at Chateau Rouge.
Surgeon Philip Newman, who had been chosen in the ballot to remain behind in Dunkirk with the wounded whilst most of the other medical staff were evacuated, was to operate on Langley, amputating his arm. Both Langley and Newman, along with the rest of those at the 12 CCS were put in the bag when the Germans arrived. 📷: The Sun, WW2 Talk - Cumbria County Archives, FindAGrave, Ben Mayne.
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