Commemorative Return to Dunkirk

The evacuation of Dunkirk
One of the most famous British triumphs of the Second World War emerged out of crushing defeat – the 'miracle of Dunkirk', which saw thousands of allied soldiers evacuated from the beaches of France. The evacuation, which took place 75 years ago, entered folklore for the actions of the 'little ships' like Endeavour that rescued soldiers and helped prevent a catastrophic defeat.

Codenamed Operation Dynamo, the entire evacuation was coordinated in the Secret Wartime Tunnels beneath Dover Castle.

With a little over three months to go the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships are firming up on the details of the events which will make up this memorable commemoration. It is anticipated that in excess of 60 little ships will take part. Naturally details are preliminary and given for guidance and planning purposes only. Prior to the actual Commemorative Return we have been invited to participate in an event at the Royal Harbour, Ramsgate. Details of all the events, as presently known, together are indicated below.

We are also participating again this year in Ostend at Anchor which takes place the weekend after the Return to Dunkirk.

We are considering arranging coach or minibus transport, including overnight accommodation on Saturday 23rd May, for members and friends who wish to experience this unique commemoration for themselves.

There are also opportunities for members to 'join the crew' on board Endeavour on some or all of the voyages: Leigh to Ramsgate, Ramsgate to Dunkirk, Dunkirk to Ramsgate, Ramsgate to Ostend and Ostend to Leigh.

In order that appropriate arrangements can be made will you please telephone Mike King or email Peter Dolby indicating your interest.


Preliminary timetable

Tuesday19th MayDepart Leigh for Ramsgate. Dinner at Temple Yacht Club.
Wednesday20th MayFallback day for passage to Ramsgate.

Ramsgate Dynamo Day celebrations to include an ADLS service at the Sailor's Church, a visit by VIPs and a parade through the town as follows:
10.30Church Service for the crews of the Little Ships at the Sailor's Church in Ramsgate.
11.30Service for local people in a marquee at Ramsgate Royal Harbour.
11.30-12.30Little Ships open to the public.
12.30Military Parade honouring the people connected with the event.
13.30Thanet Mayor's Reception for guests at Ramsgate Maritime Museum.
15.00VIP Inspection of the Dunkirk Little Ships with flypasts of Spitfires and Hurricane.
15.30-16.30Little Ships open to the public.
19.001940sNight in the Marquee on the Harbour.
Thursday21st MayPassage to Dunkirk. 
Friday22nd MayFallback day for passage to Dunkirk .

Late PMService at the British Memorial, Dunkirk Military Cemetery
Saturday23rd MayThe main commemorative event will be the official service at the Beach Memorial to be held mid-afternoon.

18.30Return Supper - coaches depart
Sunday24th May
11.00ADLS commemorative service, led by Hon. Chaplin Gordon Warren, on the quayside adjacent to the Little Ships.
Early afternoonParade of military vehicles, bands and local organisations through the streets of the town.
EveningReception for the crews at the Dunkirk Museum
Monday25th MayDepart Dunkirk for Ramsgate.
Tuesday26th MayFallback day for passage to Ramsgate or rest day at Ramsgate prior to making passage for Ostend at Anchor.

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