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Bill Cheall fought at Dunkirk, North Africa and Sicily. He was in the first wave on Gold Beach on D-Day and ended his war in Germany. Since Bill's WW2 memoirs were published, many former comrades have come forward with stories and diaries of their own, all forming part of the jigsaw of Bill's war.

The Fighting Through podcast gives you the stories behind the story. You’ll hear memoirs and memories of veterans connected to Bill's war in some way – and much more. So you're going to hear some great, unpublished history.

Show notes, including photos, transcripts and more background at

Bill Cheall WW2

Jan 20, 2017

Dunkirk Letters of Capt Tom Woods OBE

Great unpublished history

  • The personal diary and letters home from Capt Wood of the Lady of Mann offer a unique glimpse into the happenings of the Dunkirk evacuation during WW2 in 1940
  • Bill Cheall was plucked off the Dunkirk beaches by the ship Lady of Mann, which had an heroic part to play at Dunkirk.

  • The ship was captained by civilian seaman, Tom Woods, who would later be honoured with an OBE for his gallant efforts. 

  • Hear about the murderous threat of the German forces

  • Learn about a mutiny on the big ships!

  • A dramatic blow by blow account of five deadly days in Dunkirk!

The second in a special Dunkirk series. Recommended that you also listen to Podcast Episode 9 in this series - Major Petch's Dunkirk diary

Shownotes at

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Capt Tom Woods Dunkirk Ship's Captain


Lady of Mann Dunkirk ship

Vic Kewley
almost five months ago

We have seen the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq but nothing like the horror of the landings and advances afterwards. Imagine being shot or shelled at from all angles and bombed and strafed from the air. Pure horror.

N. J. Woods
almost five months ago

Thanks very much for this excellent account. I've read the letters and reports previously, but tying them in with your fathers experiences have added a new side to the story.

N. Woods, Great Grandson of Tom Woods