WE are taking another look at the contribution to the Dunkirk Evacuation, which was ongoing exactly 80 ago.

This time, we are taking a look at two of the key figures in Operation Dynamo: Lord Gort, Commander of the British Expeditionary Force, and Captain (later Admiral) William Tennant, mastermind of the evacuation.

John Vereker, the 6th Viscount Gort, was born in 1886 and took the family title in 1902.

His family were based in County Durham and the Isle of Wight but the young Vereker spent his schooldays at the now demolished Malvern Link Preparatory School.

The Link School as it was known, occupied the building originally erected to serve as the railway hotel for Malvern Link station. The headteacher during John Vereker’s time was William Douglas.

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The school was demolished in 1968 but had provided a sound education for hundreds of boys, many of whom were destined to serve their country in both World Wars.

Lord Gort entered the Grenadier Guards and rose through the ranks during the Great War when he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Later he was promoted again and became a General.

General Gort commanded the British Expeditionary Force from 1939-40 and oversaw the evacuation of troops at Dunkirk.

He fully understood how grave the situation was as German tanks and soldiers stormed through towards the French coast.

Gort recommended evacuating the Allied troops but was met with opposition from the War Office in London.

History now shows that his was the correct solution: 338,000 British troops survived to continue the fight, along with 140,000 French, Belgian and Polish soldiers, because of his wise decision.

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Admiral William Tennant came from nearby Upton upon Severn and was a professional sailor with a long naval career.

In May 1940, Captain Tennant was sent to Dunkirk with a party of naval officers, to supervise the evacuation of troops codenamed Operation Dynamo.

He was nominated Beachmaster and was responsible for organising more than 300,000 exhausted Allied troops to board the ships lying off Dunkirk harbour.

Tennant arrived at Dunkirk to find the town and its defence in chaos. With no other rank insignia available, he cut out cigarette foil to form the initials SNO (Senior Naval Officer) which he stuck to his tin helmet with fish oil.

He patrolled the length of the beach calling through a megaphone, "Are there any British soldiers still ashore?" until the last moment.

Many credited the success of the biggest wartime evacuation to his remarkably efficient organisational skills.

Later in the war Captain Tennant survived when his ship, HMS Repulse, was sunk by Japanese torpedoes while defending Singapore in 1942.

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Two years later Tennant took a key role immediately after the D-Day events when he organised massive artificial Mulberry Harbours to be towed into place near the beaches.

Rail and road tracks were constructed on top of them to allow movement of equipment, supplies and transport from sea to land.

Tennant was knighted in 1945 and returned to Upton, becoming Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire in 1950.

He had taken part in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and was 50 when the Dunkirk evacuation took place.

Throughout it all, he remained an Upton man and highly esteemed.

He became an Admiral and a handsome sculpture was erected to him in the gardens near the Pepperpot in Upton after his death.