Uncle Michael at Dunkirk


My mother sent these two photos that are thought to include my Uncle Michael Albert Astley Birtwistle at Dunkirk. If it is him then he’s the one with the moustache and cigarette. The location is right as it was taken at Bray Dunes by Humphrey Spender and that’s where Michael had mentioned he was. His wife (my aunt) and his oldest son (my cousin) also think it is him. Not sure how we verify this now, but I have included his Obituary from the Ampleforth Journal below. he actually wasn’t the oldest of 8 children, but was the oldest boy. As an aside my mother mentioned that the only time she ever saw her father was cry, was when they’d had a call from the son of a her family friend who had also been at Dunkirk to say that Michael was also safe. She said she could see tears rolling down his face which he hid behind the newspaper he was reading.

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