Operation Dynamo 75th: 20-25 May 2015

Dunkirk celebrationsIt had been a long time in the planning but finally the time had come to congregate in Dunkirk to commemorate the evacuation from the ‘beaches’ of British, French and Belgian soldiers in June 1940.   8 boats under the Broom Owners ‘flag’ finally reached Dunkirk – Lady Martina, Ikon, Erika, Santa Cruz, Lady Maurette and Flying Visit crossed from Ramsgate on 21 May to meet up with Sinemora and Bonnie Rose who had already arrived in port.   Boisterous Mistress and Kohaku were unable to join in because of family illness; Kelsie Jane was caught by bad weather in Eastbourne.  David Broad took over the role of coordinating the group at the last minute; thanks David and thanks Kelston for all the hard work you and Jackie did to set it up.. There were at least ten Broom boats with other clubs and as individuals in the support fleet.

The weekend provided an opportunity to commemorate the events, particularly with the ceremony on the beach Saturday morning but also at the British cemetery to remember those who didn’t make it back.  The Little Ships looked splendid dressed overall and lovingly cared for by their current owners.   Everything from a tiny 19 footer to large barges, fishing vessels and passenger ferries.   The atmosphere was enhanced by a selection of military vehicles that paraded around the town at regular intervals.   We were all taken by a Morris 8 kitted out as a radio transmitting vehicle, obviously its owners’ pride and joy.   Many of the passengers were dressed in appropriate style!  

David Haugh arranged for us to have a meal together on the Saturday evening before some of the boats departed the following day.  An enjoyable time was had by all.   No doubt further details will appear in the next issue of Sweeping Statements.  All those planning to return to the UK arrived back safely although the weather was not quite as kind as on the original evacuation.  Some of the Little Ships had to turn back on Monday and returned on Tuesday.  And they plan to do it all again in 2020.


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