MALVERN Museum has created a fascinating look at the town’s role in the crucial Dunkirk evacuation.

Several people from in and around the town took part in Operation Dynamo, which saw 338,000 British and Allied soldiers evacuated from France.

The museum’s Sue Smith has put together this piece, which comes as we approach the 80th anniversary of Dunkirk.

Local men took part in the evacuation including Upton Upon Severn’s William Tennant, and several lost their lives.

Some died as they mounted a rear-guard action to buy time for the troops to be evacuated. On May 27, Private William Gibbs, The Royal Berkshire Regiment, died just south of Le Mans, France.

He was a married man from Barnards Green with two young children. Two days later, on May 29, Private Arthur Langfield, 1st Bn, Worcestershire Regiment, a father of four children from West Malvern, and Lance Corporal William Richards of Malvern Link serving with the 8th Bn, Worcestershire Regiment, were killed at Bambecque, France.

Tragically, brothers, such as the Cartlands, were also caught up in the retreat. Their father, Major James Cartland, had been killed in France in May 1918, 22 years before, and their mother and sister, Barbara Cartland the romantic novelist, lived in Poolbrook, Malvern.

READ MORE: Malvern Hills Conservative councillors choose new leader and vow to "rebuild" district

The brothers were killed in action 20 miles or so from Dunkirk. Captain James Cartland, Lincolnshire Regiment, lost his life while defending his troops in a rear-guard trench on May 29.

Major John Cartland, serving with the 53 Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, was killed fighting alongside French troops the next day. Major Cartland was an MP and thought to have the potential to be a future Prime Minister. On learning of his death, tributes were paid to him in The House from all sides.

The retreat from Dunkirk also involved casualties at sea. On June 1, 1940, Able Seaman Hubert Dutson, born in Malvern in 1919, was on HMS Ivanhoe transporting troops back to England from Dunkirk. As the ship left the harbour she was bombed and machine gunned by German aircraft.

21 of her crew, including Hubert Dutson, and five soldiers were killed. One boiler room remained in service providing the ship with enough power to make it back to the dockyards at Sheerness.

READ MORE: Lockdown baby - "My two weeks leave became six"

The same day, Gunner Clarence Thompson, from Malvern Link, and brothers Lance Sergeant William McCarey, of Pickersleigh Road, Malvern, and John McCarey, all serving in the 67 Field Regiment, almost reached safety.

Together with men from Worcester and Malvern, they headed for HMS Worcester, which was on its 6th and last journey across the channel on June 1. The ship had carried more than 5,000 men to safety, but on this last trip she suffered 350 dead and 400 wounded.

William, already injured, was hit by shrapnel, as he lay on the deck. John survived. Altogether, at least eight men from the Malvern area died in the Dunkirk evacuation.

In Malvern, many residents saw hundreds of weary Dunkirk survivors leaving the train station at Malvern Link to take a few days break before resuming their journey to their army bases. They made their way to the Morgan factory which had been converted into a holding area for them to be reorganised before being sent on.

Some were given temporary accommodation around Link Common, either under canvas or in commandeered coaches, and others were billeted with families. For more, go to