Henley’s WW2 Hero Guest of Honour at Veterans’ Cruise

Dick Charlton, who served with the 4th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in WW2 and was taken a prisoner of war after the Battle of Cassell in May 1940 was invited as guest of honour for the annual Veterans’ Cruise at the Penton Hook Yacht Club.

Friends and members of the Royal British Legion, Henley and Peppard Branch, John Green and James Nelson (Dunkirk Veterans Standard Bearer) collected Dick who celebrated his 103rd birthday in June from the Chiltern Court Care Home where he is a resident.

On arrival at the Yacht Club, Dick was welcomed with applause by a contingent of cadets from HMS Collingwood as well as the Lord Mayor and many be-medalled dignitaries.

The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS) Ian Gilbert (Hon Vice Admiral ADLS) and the skipper of Lady Lou chatted with Dick and explained the background and role played by Lady Lou during the evacuation.

John said, “Transferring Dick from his wheelchair to the deck of the ship proved problematical but we managed without dropping him into the river, much to the relief of everyone present! Although Dick’s military story has been reported many times, (you can hear his full story captured on film by Richard Pinches on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJnhb40Nkcw&t=3s) it is worth remembering that at the age of 103 he must be one of the last surviving servicemen to have been to Dunkirk. His role was to take wounded soldiers to Beach for evacuation. Having done this, he returned to his unit of the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry for rearguard action at Cassel where he was captured and spent the next 5 years as a POW.”


Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *