Home » A Londoner in the 51st Highland Division - Jack Drinkalls Story by Mike Drinkall
A Londoner in the 51st Highland Division - Jack Drinkalls Story Mike Drinkall

A Londoner in the 51st Highland Division - Jack Drinkalls Story

Mike Drinkall

Published
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
350 pages
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 About the Book 

A true story of a volunteer WW2 soldier Jack Drinkall written as a tribute by his son. The story begins at the time of Jacks birth in Southwark, London in 1919. With the aid of family knowledge, digging deep into local archives and including manyMoreA true story of a volunteer WW2 soldier Jack Drinkall written as a tribute by his son. The story begins at the time of Jacks birth in Southwark, London in 1919. With the aid of family knowledge, digging deep into local archives and including many photographic images the author describes his fathers early life growing up Southwark, London in the 1920s and 1930s. He deals with the economic and the struggles the family faced with sensitivity. Although school days were not his happiest times Jack didnt lack ambition and joined an acting school - Italia Conti Academy Theatre Arts Training School. But war intervened.Jacks war experiences were collated from his personal recollections, army records, letters, archive material and published and unpublished sources. The main part of the story is the action he was involved in France in 1940.At age of 19 with war looming with Germany he volunteered and joined the Royal Artillery and finds himself assigned to the illustrious 51st Highland Infantry Division commanded by General Fortune. Jack and his Division arrived in France in January the terrible winter of 1940 to join the British Expeditionary Force. The 51st were under trained and ill-equipped and were to face an immensely powerful and professional Germany army.The 51st became separated from the main Allied forces and fought on was left behind after the Dunkirk evacuation. It had to fight hard against overwhelming odds with many of its ranks captured or killed. Its main force only eventually laying down its arms at the French coastal town of St. Valery and surrendering to General Rommel when anything else would have been mass slaughter.At the time news of the surrender was not made public, as it was considered to be too damaging for morale. Churchill and his government considered it vital to establish the Dunkirk Miracle in the minds of the British people as preparations for defending the country were made. For those remaining in France there was no miracle and many felt they had been forgotten. Some historians consider that the 51st was sacrificed by the British government by refusing to agree, against their generals advice, to a timely withdrawal. The politicians thought that by keeping the Division in France under French orders would encourage the French to continue to fight against Germany.Jack was fortunate to escape and continued to serve throughout the war years at both home overseas. He never forgot his time with the 51st as they fought in France in 1940. He and his English comrades were fully accepted into the Highland Family and enjoyed the friendly banter between themselves as Sassenachs and the Jocks. Bonds were forged which were unbreakable which helped them endure their terrible ordeals. So much we owe to them and others like them. We will never forget ...