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John Cordery


My father John Cordery  ( perhaps known as Tom or Jim in the Navy) served on HMS Express from the 22nd Aug 1939 until  its mine damage in 1940 when he
was a survivor. My father died in 1972.
He kept a record of the ship's activities in the form of a diary. Here is an example - two days of the Dunkirk week:

Tues May 28

We arrived alongside at Portsmouth 6.30am with great hopes of getting ashore in the afternoon - we soon got ready to step off ... at 12.20 we had to raise steam for full speed... 2.10pm left Portsmouth... arrived off at 8pm when we received orders to go to Dunkirk to evacuate troops ... 8.40pm we left Dover.

Weds May 29


We arrived off Dunkirk and what a sight we had - thousands of troops all along the sands waiting to be brought off. It was a hard task getting them off what with the weather and under consistent fire from the enemy. Once, we tried to get in the harbour and just got our stern in when there was a big explosion just a few feet away from us and just managed to get away when another lot went off ...we moved further up to pick up troops from the shore.


HMS Jaguar was put out of action and we had to help her... all this time we were being bombed by planes... we got alongside and took off all her troops, wounded and all ... we steamed off to Dover arriving safe at midnight with about 1500 troops on board.


Please contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by
Paul Cordery (Son)