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Watch 97-year-old Dunkirk veteran break down after film: It was just like I was there again

A 97-year-old war veteran who saved lives during the Dunkirk evacuation watched Christopher Nolan’s film, and was moved to tears. “It was just like I was there again,” he said.

hollywood Updated: Jul 26, 2017 13:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Dunkirk,Christopher Nolan,Dunkirk Evacuation
“It was just like I was there again,” said Ken Sturdy, a signal man with the Royal Navy who was involved in the evacuation at Dunkirk.

While many have written about the historical accuracy of Christopher Nolan’s new war film, Dunkirk, no one brings the credibility of 97-year-old veteran Ken Sturdy, who was a signalman for the Royal Navy during the evacuation of more than 400,000 troops from the beaches.

Global News tracked him down, and accompanied him for a screening of the film. Dressed in a jacket adorned with medals, the vet had high praise for the movie: “I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again.”

“It didn’t have a lot of dialogue,” he added. “It didn’t need any of the dialogue because it told the story visually and it was so real.”

Sturdy was “in those little boats picking them (the soldiers) out of the water.” He got emotional as he spoke about how the experience left an impact on him. “I was 20 when that happened, but watching the movie, I could see my old friends again and a lot of them died later in the war,” Sturdy said. “I went on convoys after that in the North Atlantic. I had lost so many of my buddies. One of my mates was taken prisoner. He wasn’t killed on the beach. They marched him up to Poland. And he spent five years in a German prisoner camp.”

Several people gathered around him after they learned that he was a veteran of the Dunkirk evacuation. “At the end of the movie I ran down the stairs and he was just wiping his tears away and I was able to shake his hand and give him a proper salute,” a theatregoer said.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is enjoying great reviews, and an excellent run at the box office. It’s total after almost a week in release stands at $113 million.

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First Published: Jul 26, 2017 11:44 IST