WE hear a lot about the wonderful work the Little Ships did in bringing home from Dunkirk the incredible number of 380,000 troops.

When they had landed, something had to be done, to make room for more to arrive.

This is how some troops were dealt with. Remember there were very few telephones in use then, and yet the word was quickly spread around to say “a train will be stopping at Redhill station in Surrey, full of troops, for a rest”.

Dozens of us arrived at the station, most carrying jamjars, the recognised drinking utensils in an emergency.

Typically British, we all thought that refreshments would be needed, tea and sandwiches.

Remember practically all items were rationed, almost immediately tea and sugar arrived, donated by hotels, canteens and the cookhouse at RAF Biggin Hill.

Bread was plentiful. The sight of dozens of loaves to be sliced by hand was daunting.

Fillings were a problem and yet the above-mentioned catering sources produced a lot.

Even more were donated by ordinary people, whose tea and sugar were precious, as were the weekly rations of 2oz of butter and cheese.

We were well-organised when the first train arrived.

I had to go along with large bag of postcards and pencils (no ballpoint pens then) so that the men could address them home with a brief message.

I would write the cards for those who could not manage to write.

The usual message was “I am OK”.

I was followed by the Red Cross volunteers who would do some simple dressings.

My strongest memory is of the awful, utter exhaustion of the men.

KIT BERRY, Langley Close, Headington