In response to Kathy Gyngell: Today’s cosseted Britain would struggle to repeat Dunkirk, Mojo wrote:
We saw Dunkirk a few nights ago. Apparently it is cult viewing in Hong Kong. Our son urged us to watch it. My husband was seven when this happened. He remembers the little boats leaving Brixham. He remembers the very few Spitfires flying overhead. We were so ill prepared for this war because our government said they could stop it by dialogue!!!! Have heard that one recently…… We had just invented the Spitfire which was fast, nimble and the pride of the airforce. The young men were barely trained when they had to protect the men and ships from the air. My husband said every house was flying the Union flag, every house was crowded round the wireless for Churchill to speak at 6 pm. Everyone was cheering when the men were brought back and they had bread and jam and Victoria sponge cake as a treat for them. It brought back a lot of emotion for him. He also remembered the 1958 film and said that one was probably more emotional because it was so close to the real event.
The film made us cry at the patriotism of the small ships’ skippers. At the team work of the army on the beaches. The sadness at the torpedoed ships and those young men fighting so bravely to keep our freedom and democracy.
Imagine our shock when we followed a young couple out of the cinema and the girl said she was fed up with British propaganda!!!! That no one would allow men to sit on the beach and wait to die, because surely the French would have come to help.!!! That is our misguided youth. I wish I had found the courage to tell her that in Hong Kong the audience apparently stood up and cheered and clapped at the end of the film. Our son said he had never felt so proud of his country as when he walked out of the cinema at Central and everyone was talking about the Brits and their resolve.