Colin F. Jones


In the early morning mist the ghost fleet came;
Dark shapes all scattered beyond the silver surf
Narrow, golden, streaked with crimson grain
The stretch of beach at Dunkirk gave them worth.
Soldiers lined the dunes in ranks and pain,
Singing hymns and songs of joy and faith;
Gripped with fear and hunger as they prayed
As the German aircraft constantly bombed and strafed.
They waded out to the boats in single lines,
Braving the sea and cold and the breath of shells.
Great hope of hope is what such fear defines;
The crimson surf drowning the horror of their yells.
But dad got home after seven days on the beach
And I was born, safely out of reach.

Author’s Note: In May 1940 my Father was a British soldier of the expeditionary force trapped on Dunkirk Beach in France. He was fortunate and was evacuated after spending 7 days experiencing the horror of the place. While he was there, back in England I was born.

This poem prompted the response, “Dunkirk Baby” ©Copyright September 1, 2001 Christina A. Sharik (Note: The International Date Line accounts for the apparent date anomaly) Submitted for the September 2001 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “The Beach