Dunkirk and the little ships

By | Category: Travel news
a beach at Dunkirk where the wrecks from 1940 can still be seen.

a beach at Dunkirk where the wrecks from 1940 can still be seen.

In May this year is the 75th anniversary of the epic role of the little ships to repatriate soldiers back from Dunkirk to the UK.

From May the 26th until the 4th June, 338,226 allied soldiers, British, French and Belgian, were taken off Dunkirk beaches. Called Operation Dynamo, it was one of the most well-known exploits of WWII.

To commemorate the event, the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships announced the return of more than 50 boats, from 21th to 25thMay. They will be escorted by the RNLI and the Royal Navy.

On the 21st of May, the Little Ships will arrive at the end of the afternoon (weather permitting) and be welcomed on the quay by the period vehicles of the War & Peace display team. The following day sees a commemoration ceremony at the British cemetery and on the Saturday there is a further commemoration on the beach and a parade through the streets of the town. On Sunday at Zuydcoote beach there will be a service to remember the victims of the Crested Eagle, a paddle steamer which was sunk trying to rescue servicemen, the wreck of which can still be seen at low tide. A memorial plaque will be affixed to the wreck. Finally on the Sunday, military vehicles will parade along the prom.

In addition to the events of that week, the Dunkirk Museum tells the story of Operation Dynamo alongside its exhibits of weapons, uniforms, models, photos and maps of military operations. From April the 1st it will holding an exhibition that highlights the story of the German occupation of the town and how the inhabitants faced their tribulations.

The paddle steamer, Princess Elizabeth – launched in the year of our queen’s birth – is normally closed to the public but from May the 22nd until the 24th the Dunkirk Divers Association will present an exhibition on the shipwrecks of Operation Dynamo with images and artefacts they have salvaged

For more about Dunkirk, click here.

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