Now ‘Dunkirk’. No word is more evocative to those who remember the war.
This book covers just about every aspect of these vital few days which even
wartime prime minister Winston Churchill described as “a colossal military
disaster”. David holds nothing back. The unbelievable barbarity of the
enemy faced by the British Expeditionary Force in France. The pain, the
humiliation, the bullets, the blood, the sheer savagery of the German
advance. The terror on the beaches as the Stuka dive bombers screamed
down on the troops waiting to be evacuated.
Then there is the uplifting side of the Dunkirk story. The bravery of the men who set out across the English Channel, risking bombs and mines in Royal Navy vessels and the famous Little Ships, to rescue them. Every craft that took part is listed in these pages.
David’s research, often taking seven hours a day every day of the week, and the willingness of the organisations and people he contacted to provide him with information, must make this the supreme record of the Dunkirk story.
The website was born because I’m severely disabled with osteoarthritis which affects every bone in my body, but it hasn’t affected my hands and mind. I originally started writing little A5 booklets of my Norfolk Journey, then one book followed called Hands Across the Sea, the front cover designed by Tony Brooks. When I started writing about the USAAF I didn't know anything about the B-17’s or B-24's. Now I have developed my knowledge and skills somewhat further and lo and behold I know a great deal more about what the USAAF stood for during the Second World War.
My first breakthrough came in attempting to write about a group called the 303rd bomb group at Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. It was called Chariots of Thunder, 124 pages of different wartime stories and pictures, and a friendship was struck up with the owner of a site I researched,: Gary Moncur, the son of one of the fliers, Vern Moncur of the 359th.
In God We Trust was my first attempt at A4, the cover above by Tony Brooks, a beautiful book and stories that were to lead to greater accolades. I decided to write another A4 called Hands Across the Sea, a revamp of the original little A5, but it turned out to be a book of books, some say a book of dreams. In this was a piece written by yet another friend, a tale about her gramps, and this book was seen and read in many a country, even Dubai in The United Arab Emirates. This book of dreams has opened many doors and now I’m a fully-fledged hobbyist author and proud owner of this website created by Fakenham Prepress.
With his latest Yesterdays Heroes, Men of Steel, priced from £8.95-£18.95, please contact Fakenham Prepress for books as David only holds 20 at a time. We can produce bulk requests. Thank you
Books sold by David, who only holds 15-20 books on each edition made, are posted by Royal Mail first class. Tracking is extra. If more than one book is required we can assist as we use couriers. Please contact us https://www.fakprepress.co.uk
David Buettner Banks is an exceptional man so you would not expect Dunkirk to be anything other than an exceptional book. David devotes the proceeds of his many popular books to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and has raised £1857.17p to date. Chief among his publications are his lovely Norfolk books created from living in the beautiful county where he has made his home.
These nostalgic booklets led to writing and publishing stories of the incredible young men of the United States Air Force along with the RAF, RCAF and AAF who ﬂew from this county in raids over Germany in the Second World War. More war stories followed.
In Dunkirk, his latest book, he tackles the overpowering events of a surrender that was at the same time a victory.
No word is more evocative than Dunkirk to those who remember the war. This book covers just about every aspect of those vital few days which even wartime prime minister Winston Churchill described as a "colossal military disaster”. David holds nothing back. The unbelievable barbarity of the enemy faced by the British Expeditionary Force in France. The pain, the humiliation, the bullets, the blood, the sheer savagery of the German advance. The terror on the beaches as the Stuka dive bombers screamed down on the troops waiting to be evacuated.
Then there is the uplifting side to the Dunkirk story. The bravery of the men who set out across the English Channel, risking bombs and mines in Royal Navy and Merchant Navy vessels and the famous Little ships, to rescue the men off the French beaches. Every craft that took part is listed in these pages, many with their individual stories of heroism.
David's research, often taking seven or more hours a day every day of the week, and the willingness of the organisations and people he contacted to provide him with information, must make this the supreme record of the Dunkirk story.
Thank you all for reading this introduction and I hope, after viewing the site, you will spare a few charitable coppers please. You can send monies direct to MNDA to their bank at Northampton Loyds TSB George Row NN1-1DJ their sort code 30-96-09 A/C 02-95-26-79 and clearly put ref RE637606 or you can send donations to my PayPal account PayPal.me/david72ok you can text me on 07949082523 or email me at email@example.com
Scroll down to see David’s testimonials
David would also like to thank his supportive friend Tony Brooks who has given computer graphics a new meaning while working on the production of Hands Across the Sea and the books that followed. Tony’s art work on that little A5 gave David the idea of revamping it into the big A4, which became the book of dreams and opened many doors for him. David since has made many friends in the USA and the UK and continues to build on this friendship. He produces books that these new-found friends adore, whether war books like Yesterdays Heroes, Men of Steel, and the revamped Chariots of Thunder with stories from the Navy’s battles, one featuring HMS Formidable. They also express their enjoyment of the beautiful Norfolk books, containing tales and myths of this county. Further assisting David is a proof reader who polishes these books with a professionalism David is proud of. David, along with his new-found friend, has created a stunning account of DUNKIRK - a book that will adorn many a shelf and inform people of those extraordinary events that happened 80 years ago on the beaches of France. Tony Brooks designed pages through David's art eye to achieve the layout wanted. A new artist allowed David to use two of his pieces to create front and back pages of Dunkirk.
Photo overlay by David Banks
Thank you, David hopes you will support his worthy cause, and his sponsors.
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.
The summer's gone, and all the roses falling,
It's you, it's you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow,
It's I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow,
Oh, Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so!
But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be,
You'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me.
And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me,
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me,
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!
Thank you very much for your enquiry regarding my Long March songs. I am very happy for you to share my poems, and/or the song recordings if you have a website. I wrote them because I was passionate about getting the story of our brave POWs and the dreadful tale of their Long March to a wider audience. I am continually saddened that no-one I speak to has ever heard of the event, unless of course they have a relative or friend who was also on the march. As a folk singer, part of the duo ‘Greensand Ridge’, I thought writing some songs might be one way of doing this, as we do occasionally sing the songs when we attend folk clubs and festivals especially on Remembrance week, or like this January, Long March anniversaries. I wonder if, along with naming me, you would be able to put a link to our website www.greensand-ridge.co.uk into your bibliography and then, if anyone is interested they can read how we came to be involved via my father-in-law who was, himself, a Long Marcher.
For your information The Long March of 1945 was written in collaboration with Linda Huxley, and it would be nice if you would add her name along with mine. It was written using words and experiences of the POWs who contributed to the BBC documentary called The Long March to Freedom. The Long March to Freedom song was written solely by me Lesley Loughlin and was inspired by the story as written down by my father-in-law shortly before he died.
Thank you once again for your interest.
The Long March to Freedom - Lesley Loughlin
(from the account of Bernard Loughlin my father-in-law written for his son, my husband Hugh with love)
It is my privilege and it is my pain to share this story here today
It started not so long ago, in a land not far away
The country’s now called Poland, ‘twas in nineteen forty-five
When my father joined the Long, cold March to Freedom.
There were thousands of those prisoners a product of the war
Confined within the stalags, working on farms were thousands more
Away from friends and family, who little knew if they’d lived or died
Till they began their Long, cold March to Freedom.
The Russians were advancing, they could set the prisoners free
So to keep his hold upon his foe, Hitler made this cruel decree
That all the P.O.Ws. who were held on Prussian lands
Should be rounded up to start a Long, cold March for Freedom.
It was January of forty-five that Hitler’s orders came
For weeks on end they trudged their way over European plain
No special clothes, no rations, half conscious and half starved
They shivered their way as they made their bid for freedom.
The winter months of forty-five, so all the records show
Brought bitter winds to freeze the bones, minus 40c or so,
They plodded some seven hundred miles, at barely eight a day
A torturous ordeal was that Long, cold March to Freedom.
And one by one, by night and day, their numbers did decrease,
As life itself had lost its charm, death would be welcome release
But for the few who made it back, no cheers of welcome came
For no-one seemed to know about this March to Freedom.
Though thousands had set out upon, that long, cold road through hell
Only twelve of father’s group remained their story for to tell
Of how they’d trudged through blinding snow with frostbite on their feet
And with courage stepped that harsh, Long March to Freedom.
by Vera Lyn
I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen.
I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen.
May this fair dear land we love so well
In dignity and freedom dwell.
Though worlds may change and go awry
While there is still one voice to cry
There'll always be an England
While there's a country lane,
Wherever there's a cottage small
Beside a field of grain.
There'll always be an England
While there's a busy street,
Wherever there's a turning wheel,
A million marching feet.
Red, white and blue; what does it mean to you?
Surely you're proud, shout it aloud,
The empire too, we can depend on you.
Freedom remains. These are the chains
Nothing can break.
There'll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.
David Banks is proud to be associated with the new propriotor of Ramblers from the 12 April 2021. Ramblers address is The Street, Thurne, Great Yarmouth NR29 3BU. 01692 670086. firstname.lastname@example.org.