Bill Brewster Recalls His Father's Dunkirk Memory - Finlay Marshall

Every time Bill Brewster visited Leigh and looked at the cockle boats lined up in the creek he pointed to Endeavour and said, "I was rescued at Dunkirk by that boat!"

Back in 1940 Bill Brewster was a badly wounded soldier; shot three times and carried to the beach by his comrades.

Bill kindly provided this photograph which was taken in Bangalore.
His father is in the front row, fourth from the right.
His son, also Bill, lives in Benfleet and frequently visits Leigh Old Town. He recalls his father saying, "They came from over the sea to rescue us. All I know is, it was a fishing boat that brought me home."

Regimental Sergeant Major Brewster, and the Royal West Kents fought their way towards the Dunkirk beaches as the British Expeditionary Force came under massive German air and land attacks. The Regiment had been sent to France from their station in Bangalore, India.

He left his 14 year old son behind, living with another army family throughout the war.

They were reunited in 1946.

Bill had been 'missing, presumed dead'. It took between 18 months and two years before Bill heard that his father had been in hospital in Sheffield. It had taken a long while to recover from the injuries.

Unfit for active duty he had been sent to guard German prisoners of war.

When finally reunited, Bill couldn't remember his father’s face.

Ex-RSM Brewster later worked for Roneo in Romford, sadly dying from cancer aged 57.

Young Bill Brewster followed his father into the army with the 2nd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery serving in Korea on the Imjin River. After leaving National Service he worked as a machine driver in the Sahara, Qatar and North Africa.

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