Quayside in Ipswich - Trevor Osborne

Dunkirk veterans Bernard Sharp .
Bernard Sharp, Dunkirk Veteran
I feel very proud and honoured to be associated with Endeavour and also with the fishermen who went to Dunkirk and especially, of course, to those who never returned.

In Ipswich I was privileged to meet Bernard Sharp, the last surviving Dunkirk Veteran from Ipswich and President of the Ipswich Branch of the Royal British Legion. He was part of the British Expeditionary Force and celebrated his 21st birthday on May 30th 1940 on Dunkirk Beaches.

He told me that he was picked up by a boat from Leigh-on-Sea but unfortunately could not recall the name. He was transferred on to a destroyer or similar ship but on return to England the ship was bombed and he was in the sea again! After this, quite understandably, his memories are a little fuzzy but he was picked up and found himself on a Hospital Ship.

After the war he came to Leigh to find out anything about the boat which may have rescued him. Although he spoke to locals he could not find any more information. I think this is a really lovely piece of history and the thought that he may have been evacuated by one of our Cockle Boats really struck a chord with me. When I hear a story like this it makes me feel proud to think ordinary people such as Leigh fisherman helped shape the future of the war, unfortunately at a cost.

Therefore we must keep the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships alive and take care of our Leigh's LAST surviving little ship - ENDEAVOUR!

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