04 June 2010

Dunkirk, Dover Castle and the miracle of the little ships

This being the fourth of June - at least according to the calendar as it feels much more like Autumn - we remember Dunkirk and the evacuation of its beaches 70 years ago.
I noticed more than one vessel in Ramsgate's harbour bearing the little sign it was part of that long ago memorable rescue and I am sorry we were no longer there for the eventual celebration!

WW2 veterans set sail from Dover on the 27th of May 2010 to cross the English Channel to Dunkirk for a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the evacuation.

The former troops and their families were given a rousing send-off, with a performance from the Parachute Regimental Band and a chorus of Jerusalem (my favourite) from a Royal Choral Society choir. A Spitfire and a Hurricane aircraft performed a military fly-past above the ferry as it made its way to northern France.

A flotilla of “little ships” involved in the evacuation set sail from Ramsgate in Kent to join Norfolk Line’s Maersk Dover on the French coast. Many private fishing or pleasure boats, were drafted in to help evacuate the troops from the beaches of Northern France in 1940.

Operation Dynamo was the codename for the Dunkirk evacuation of British, French and Belgian troops between the 27th of May to the 4th of June 1940. Thousands of soldiers were rescued by the famous "little ships of Dunkirk", including 700 merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and lifeboats, the smallest of which was 15-foot fishing boat now displayed in the Imperial War Museum.

Operation Dynamo was named for the dynamo room in the Naval HQ below Dover Castle which in fact contained the dynamo that provided the building with electricity during WW2.

I visited the Naval HQ below the Castle two years ago and it was a visit I will never forget. I would not have wanted to miss it! There is so much history betwixst these walls you feel it as you wander through the corridors!

Always remembered, never forgotten...

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to share dreams and always enjoy meeting kindred spirits!
Thank you for stopping by!