By Jon Cooksey
This is often the tale of the conflict of Calais, a quick yet bloody fight to hold up the German strengthen in may perhaps 1940. it's a tale of uncertainty, of taut nerves, of warmth, airborne dirt and dust, raging thirst and hand-to-hand battling within the slim streets of the channel port referred to now to thousands of Britons as a gateway to the Continent. The consultant will take the customer past the ferry terminal and hypermarkets to bare the hidden Calais and the activities of people and devices.
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Additional resources for Calais A Fight to the Finish, May 1940
And Mme. Dupuy allowed me to visit ‘Oyez Farm’. I received a great deal of help from the families of men involved in the battle. Mrs Margaret Bishop and her son Mr Fred Bishop were kind enough to talk with me about Mrs Bishop’s brother, Riflemen Don Gurr and Mrs Rosamund Kydd gave permission to use extracts from her late husband Sam Kydd’s autobiography. I am grateful to Mr Richard Nicholson for permission to photograph and reproduce an illustration from the painting Last Stand at Calais by Charles Gere.
I received a great deal of help from the families of men involved in the battle. Mrs Margaret Bishop and her son Mr Fred Bishop were kind enough to talk with me about Mrs Bishop’s brother, Riflemen Don Gurr and Mrs Rosamund Kydd gave permission to use extracts from her late husband Sam Kydd’s autobiography. I am grateful to Mr Richard Nicholson for permission to photograph and reproduce an illustration from the painting Last Stand at Calais by Charles Gere. From institutions I have received considerable assistance from Mr Norman ‘Tommy’ Hummerstone, Secretary of the Queen Victoria’s Rifles Regimental Association, Major Ken Gray of the Royal Green Jackets Museum and Colonel Ian McCausland, President of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps Association.
In this respect alone one can draw parallels with set-piece actions of World War One. This is particularly true of sites such as Fort Nieulay, now being sympathetically restored by the Town Council with financial assistance from the central government, the Citadel and Fort Risban in Calais Nord. Although Calais Nord was practically razed to the ground by German bombers and artillery in 1940, a situation made worse by the Allied bombing prior to the town’s liberation in 1944, it is still possible to find and explore certain features and fortifications which held particular significance for the British and French defenders and their German assailants.