My story:

When I was a child I grew up in a family unit and had no reason to believe the member I called Daddy wasn't actually my father.

I remember when I was about three, and living in a basement flat in Folkestone, that one night I saw a man climbing in the window. I started to cry but Mum said it was Daddy on holiday from the war.

The next occasion which should have rung alarm bells was when, about 11, I saw a date of birth on a named serviette ring, and I remember saying something about 'Daddy' must only have been xyz when I was born.

When, as a teenager, I needed my birth certificate for  my first passport I was horrified to see my fathers name as E.P.Shute!! Of course, I should have asked Mum about it, but didn't.  The subject was never raised between us, but subsequently I asked my maternal grandparents who weren't very forthcoming. I now feel the whole famly had been sworn to secrecy.

I was obviously concerned about the circumstances surrounding my birth in July 1940, but wasn't brave enough to investigate until both Mum and 'Daddy' died. With Colin's help and temendous support I was brave enough to check E P Shute on Ancestry, (At last I know knew that my parents married in 1937),  then to the M o D for war records, from which I discovered that he had been on board the fated HMT Lancastria.

I purchased 'A Forgotten Tragedy' and discovered that my father was named on a pillar in Dunkirk Cemetery so he was obviously one of the first 6000 to board Lancastria - I understand that at that point they stopped recording!  

We visited the cemetery in 2017 and followed this up with a trip to St Nazaire where the Tourist Information Board seemed only to know that there was a memorial in the harbour  but pointed us towards Semaphore, a museum in Prefailles. There the whole story is revealed in all it's horrendous detail . Stephane, the curator, was so helpful and suggetsed we contact Yves and we discovered the amazing work he does to keep the story alive. There is a video, which I tried to purchase, but sales were so low that it is no longer available - I wrote to the producers but no response. Part of this video was used by the BBC in Amanda Holden's 'Who Do You Think You Are' in which she discovered her Grandfather had been a survivor.

The D notice being lifted,won't really help the relatives of those on board, but it would at least raise the knowledge of this ghastly story to the general public. 

As a final comment - my name was changed by Deed poll and I was Christened in 1946 when my 'sister ' was born - when I asked at the time, why I hadn't been done as a baby I was given the reason that that was because of the war .

Do hope this flavour of my story helps.