8th Battalion men attached to 138th Brigade (May 1940)
The following letter was received from a Captain of the 138th Infantry Brigade.
On the 22nd or 23rd May, 1940, seven of your Battalion Carriers arrived at La Vacquerie (north of Douai) from Belgium, and were taken under command of M.A.C. Force.
The Carriers had as passengers 10 men from your Rifle Companies. These men were taken on the strength of 138th Infantry Brigade H.Q., and undertook the duties of H.Q. guard, etc.
I personally had a lot to do with these men, as they travelled in the Brigade H.Q. transport under my command from Douai via Foret de Nieppe to Dunkerque.
At all times they were obedient and showed very fine discipline, and were always cheerful. At Dunkerque they rowed a very heavy whale boat to and from the transport to the shore with wounded.
Corporal Burbidge and one other then proceeded to strip five Bren Guns and manufacture one serviceable gun from the parts. With this gun firing from the hip—as there was no tripod available—Corporal Burbidge and one or two others made excellent shooting from 6.0 p.m. till dark at enemy aircraft which approached too near the transport.
Although it is very difficult to differentiate between ten such excellent men, I should like to call your particular attention to Corporal Burbidge, Lance-Corporal Cornhill, "Tubby" and/or "Dusty" (Corporal Burbidge will know his name).
Capt., 138th Infantry Brigade, H.Q.
CORPORAL BURBIDGE. LANCE-CORPORAL CORN HILL.
PRIVATE PHILLIPS. PRIVATE "TUBBY " and/or " DUSTY."
PRIVATE WISE. PRIVATE SWAN.
PRIVATE BROOKS. PRIVATE DEAKIN.
PRIVATE CLARKE. PRIVATE TOOMBS.
PRIVATE CUSHION (found at Dunkerque and attached).
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of these names except those of Corporal Burbidge and Lance-Corporal Cornhill, as all my records are lost.