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Private C C Peake 5571167 8th Bn

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:05 pm
by TonyP
I am trying to trace details of my Uncle who died 29 May and would like to know where he was at the time of death, did he make it to the beaches? Any details much appreciated

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:31 am
by scully
Hi Tony,

You will find some details of the 8th Battalion at Dunkirk on this website (look on the home page and click on the link). Below is a small extract from that section:

"Only a short halt was called at Herzele, and thence a march was made north-east to Bambecque. It was here throughout 29th May the 8th Battalion was to fight a rearguard action worthy of the finest traditions of the Regiment. Orders were received to hold Bambecque until 2100 hours. "B" Company took up a position north of the River Yser covering the road from Herzele, with "C" Company just west of the village itself. Battalion H.Q. was in the village.

By 1130 hours Captain Farrar had successfully withdrawn "D" Company half a mile to the east on to the road from Bambecque to West Cappel. At Battalion H.Q. the doctor had found time to deliver a French woman successfully of a son and "both were doing well." German tanks were now coming on in large numbers from Wormhoudt in the south-west and Bergues in the north-west.

Tanks would come up first to draw fire and then to break through for the lorried infantry behind. The L.M.Gs. of "A" and "D" Companies were having good shooting, and Private Turton of "D" Company successfully shot up a M.O. party off-loading from a large tank. By 1700 hours an enemy tank attack had closed in on "D" Company H.Q. and set it on fire. Captain Farrar was last seen firing an anti-tank rifle at enemy tanks at close range. By 1800 hours both companies were so badly cut up as to make further resistance impossible, and the survivors, three officers and about sixty other ranks, dribbled into Battalion H.Q. in threes and fours to reorganize.

Meanwhile stragglers from other units were coming in and it was difficult to organize them effectively in support of the defence. By 1730 hours the circle was beginning to close around Bambecque and "B" and "C" Companies were heavily involved. Captain E. W. Berry organized a working party and built a very stout road-block of farm-carts and tractors on the Bambecque road below Battalion H.Q. The same officer had previously had a great shoot round the Wormhoudt market square from a carrier, sending German infantry scuttling like rabbits into the houses.

At about 1800 hours a Liaison Officer from Brigade H.Q. arrived with orders for a withdrawal at 2100 hours, and a route to Bray Dunes, on the coast north-east of Dunkirk, was given. The Adjutant then had to get out marked quarter-inch maps to as many subordinate commanders as could be found, no easy task in view of the fact that the enemy now had every possible route under observation. Various runners volunteered to take out the orders, but none of them got through to their destinations. At last darkness fell and at 2105 hours a start was made thinning out the defenders, who began to wind their way in single file along the road to Rexpoede. The last detachment finally left at about 2200 hours under the command of Captain Berry. But "B" and "C" Companies had suffered grievous loss. "B" Company indeed, which had been widely deployed, fought on until its ammunition was exhausted and then, with the net drawn tightly around it, had no alternative but to surrender. The survivors as they trudged the long miles to Bray Dunes all through the night at least could know that, despite heavy sacrifices, their endurance had ensured the safety of thousands."

If you get a copy of his service records that may give you more details. Service records are obtained from:
Army Personnel Centre
Historical Disclosures
MP 555, Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
Glasgow G2 8EX
Tel: 0845 600 9663

Hope this helps a little.


Louis (webmaster)

Private CC Peake (Ginger) 8th Bn

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:41 am
by TonyP
Many thanks for reply, I will try to obtain his service record thanks. I know he died on 29th May but would like to find out what company etc he was in and anything more about him as I was partially named after him.

Thanks again