University of Oxford
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Story of a cook

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 17:32 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Roger brought in some photos to illustrate what he had to relate about his father's war service.

His father never spoke about the war and Roger has pieced his story together from photos, on-line records and the photos.

Roger's father was a pork butcher before the war, having failed his education. He later re-started his education in further education, towards becoming a meat inspector in Australia.

Roger's father was at both Dunkirk and D-Day.

One photo was of a young man from Belgium called Albert. On the back was an address of the Junkers (aircraft) factory in Germany. Albert had been conscripted to work in this factory.

Another photo was of Albert's mother in her garden somewhere near Ghent in Belgium.

Roger says that his father's military records don't tell the full story. For example Dunkirk is not mentioned. His father was evacuated from Dunkirk. His father sent a card on getting back to England, to say he was safe.

His job ahead of the Dunkirk evacuation was to disable motor-bikes and lorries.

In 1961 his father and family had driven to Dunkirk as the Calais ferry crossing was closed. He apparently talked non-stop about his experiences and was clearly unsettled by his memories.

1n 1972 he joined the Dunkirk Veterans' Association.

During the war Roger's father had been billeted at Craven Arms (Shropshire). He went from there to D-day. He did describe the bombing of an Orchard after D-day. This coincides with the accidental bombing of allied positions including an orchard in August 1944.

Roger's father considered himself to have been very lucky because the truck he and others sheltered under was a petrol tanker. (This was at Mortain in Normandy, the location of a counter attack by German elite forces in August 1944)
His records show that he qualified as a Cook in the medical corps. He was a member of a medical support team sent to the liberation of Belsen concentration camp.

He also worked at Camp 77 (Camp for German POWs at Ladybank, Fife). He says that his cooking killed people because they were eating too much.

He was awarded the Legion d'honneur. Asked why his father was awarded this honour, Roger's reply was that 'it's obvious'.
After the war he returned to France to learn French butchery skills to enable him to resume his career with a niche skill.


Item list and details

1.Stanley (in uniform) and brother George 2. Dunkirk veterans letter 1972 3. Stanley on wedding day

Person the story/items relate to

Stanley Goulden

Person who shared the story/items

Roger Goulden

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

He was the contributor's father

Type of submission

Shared at Kirklands Community Centre, West Yorkshire on 4 November 2023. Organised by Menston Heritage Group/Menston Parish Council.

Record ID

119790 | KIR006