We all wish Jim Chivers a very happy 100th birthday on April 2nd (Easter Monday). Jim is a Dunkirk veteran who was picked up by Medway Queen during the evacuation. He has helped the restoration project with his memories and with appearances on DVD programmes and BBC television. Thank you Jim, and
Cyril (Jim) Chivers was born in Wiltshire in 1918 and joined the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) in 1933 at the age of 15. Jim’s unit went to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) attached to the 5th Division.
On arrival, Jim waited on the beaches under fire for 2 days. At first they were at La Panne but soon moved westward towards Dunkirk. Jim’s call to embark came on June 1st when he and his colleagues were sent to the East Mole and boarded HMS Medway Queen under shell fire. He thinks this was late in the afternoon or evening but remembers little except some surprise that the crew were Royal Navy and not civilian. They were sent below deck and fell asleep almost immediately. The night of June 1st/2nd was one of the last pickups for British personnel and the signal concluding the British evacuation was sent the following evening.
Photo: HMS Medway Queen in Ramsgate Harbour 1940. Courtesy PSPS Collection