Dunkirk Ships

dunkirk ships, ipswich, waterfront

Around 20 small & unique vessels sailed into the Haven Marina at the start of the second May bank holiday weekend, with the public encouraged to join them for a closer look.

Known as the Dunkirk Little Ships, the ships are all veterans of the heroic Dunkirk flotilla from May 1940, when in excess of 700 small boats joined the Royal Navy to rescue 338,000 British and French troops from the threat of Nazi capture in northern France. 

In May 1965 to mark the 25th anniversary of 'Operation Dynamo', Raymond Baxter the radio and TV presenter organised and assembled a fleet of 43 of the original Little Ships of Dunkirk to return to Dunkirk to commemorate the epic of the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in 1940, in which they played such a significant role. It was decided that such a unique assembly should not be allowed to disperse into obscurity and the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS) was subsequently formed in 1966. 

The visit, jointly organised by ADLS and Ipswich Borough Council, included a thanksgiving and memorial service, with wreath-laying.

Hundreds of residents and visitors took advantage of the sunshine over the long weekend and were treated to a rare chance to get up close to a significant moment in history.