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Post Info TOPIC: Little Ships departing Ramsgate - Dunkirk


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Little Ships departing Ramsgate - Dunkirk
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Thanks Phil >>>>>>

Here's some photos taken by a friends on the day the "Little Ships" 

departed for Dunkirk on Thursday for Dunkirk. I hope they add to the
previous photos. 
Regards, 
Phil Hughes



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PWSTS UK Director

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Thanks Phil >>>

Hi! All, 

Please find here a selection of photos taken at Ramsgate on 
May 20th 2015 at the 75th; Anniversary of "Operation Dynamo" (Dunkirk 
Evacuation). I've included two press photos / reports and hope you 
can use them. 

It was a great day for all concerned with the Merchant Navy well 
represented with our colleagues from the Medway MNA, the Prince of 
Wales Sea School, the Marine Officer's of Thanet and our own 
Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent. 

When the "Little Ships" left for Dunkirk yesterday there were thousands 
lining the piers to cheer them away with the Standards of the Ramsgate 
R.M.A. - the Ramsgate R.N.A. - the Prince of Wales Sea School and our 
own Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent. In between us was a piper 
from the Black Watch Regiment. The highlight was a four run fly-past 
of the harbour by a Spitfire & Hurricane before they flew over the 
flotilla en-route for Dunkirk. 
Best wishes, 
Phil Hughes



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Ex PWSTS Standard Bearer

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I would like to thank Mike for representing us so well at this very prestigious occasion. I have done this parade a couple of times in the past, and found that the man in the street had no idea of the role played by the Merchant Navy, in fact, some have asked me what is the Merchant Navy!!!

Thanks Mike, photo's don't show the cold & miserable hours of hanging about involved!

Roger.

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So good for our colours to be present, thanks so much Mike....good pictures as well

 



-- Edited by Colin on Sunday 24th of May 2015 07:54:00 AM

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Cool Colin, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.



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Thanks Mike, it is very much appreciated you being there to represent us. At the time I was at Ingham and the Coast Guard at Sea Pauling had one WW! rifle between them. It would have been the end of the war but for the little ships doing such a grand job of bring so many of the troops home. I do wonder at times how we managed to keep going when so much was against us, I for one as a boy did not see the possibility of us being beaten. Thanks again Mike.

EJ 



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E. J. Ford


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Having only arrived home last night you've beaten me to it :) but here are the words to go with the pics.

It was a great occasion especially on the Wednesday that was mostly not reported in the press as they quite rightly concentrated on the Dunkirk Little Ships. There was a service in a marquee harbour-side followed by a march around the harbour finishing up past the big-wigs back where we started. There were 29 Standards on parade following the Royal Engineers band with large contingents of the navy, army and RAF behind and I was amazed at the appreciation shown by the crowds on the way around as I've never been applauded in my life before and it was obvious that all those Standards meant so much more than we imagined and I must admit they did look a great sight marching in one block like that and of course the band helped enormously to get peoples feet tapping.

The following morning, Thursday, the Little Ships set sail for Dunkirk and a special commemoration arranged there by the town. Only four Standards made it to the pier head, (at 06.30 / 07.00!) Vindicatrix, Royal Marines, RNA and PWSTS plus a Scots piper in full rig, where we were joined by hundreds of the general public filling both arms of the breakwater. It was an incredible turnout at that time of day and we were blessed with a wonderful English morning of bright sunshine, blue, blue skies, a few white fluffy clouds here and there and more importantly, a flat sea giving perfect sailing conditions that made it ideal but I guess it wouldn't be like that later in the day as they made their way across the Channel. (You remember the Channel huh? I'm sure you do!) We raised and dipped appropriately with lots of waves and smiles from the crews passing below, it was low tide which drew a comment or two to the Highland piper from the ladies, and all the crews were a little surprised and very appreciative too, and not only to the piper.
(Health and Safety note; no hand rails anywhere harbour-side of the breakwater, only a foot-high rise in the stone on the knuckle-end, straight over the edge and into the oggin if you got it wrong.)

The ships, and I don't know why they're called that as most of them are only small boats that shouldn't be off the local duck pond and many were built only for river traffic anyway which makes their exploits all the more remarkable, massed just outside the harbour to be paid the ultimate honour of a fly past by a Spitfire and Hurricane that did them proud with four passes at low level and the sight and noise of those engines just took your breath away.

As we walked slowly back down the breakwater among the retreating crowds a couple of times people came over to say how smart we all were and how good the Standards looked which was a bit of a pleasant surprise but one was rather remarkable. A middle aged lady came up to me crying here eyes out, hardly able to speak, but after apologising profusely managed to say that she was overcome with so much emotion at the sight of us and our flags because she was from Malta and it all meant so much to her. Through her sobs she insisted I relay her thanks and appreciation on behalf of her island that she said would never forget all that we, as a country and we, the merchant navy did for them during WW2. She was most sincere and it was obvious her words came from the heart and her gesture touched me greatly so there you go boys, please pass her comments on to any relevant personnel and know that our actions are often appreciated more that we understand.

I hope to go back down to Ramsgate tomorrow, Monday, for the Little Ships return so hopefully the weather will co-operate although I doubt there'll be as many others in attendance but I'm sure it will be a great day just the same.

For further info there's plenty of other pictures available if you just Google the appropriate words as the press took a bit of an interest but that, again quite rightly, focusses mainly on the Little Ships themselves.

Thanks for your support and it's a pleasure to be part of it all.
Mike

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Thanks EJ, it was a pleasure.

As for the events at the time; my family comes from Stoke on Trent and my uncle who lived there at the time told me that at one time crowds of men with broom handles for guns were loaded onto trains during daylight so that everybody, including the spies, could see them to be taken to the south coast where they were unloaded, again in daylight, to be loaded back up again at night to be taken back up north to do the whole thing again next day.
In the fifties we moved to Deal and the White Cliffs became my playground and the folks there told me that of all the guns poking out of the cliffs only every fifth one was real, the others were just telegraph poles so it does make you wonder how we survived but there's no doubt that those men saved at Dunkirk, and we shouldn't forget there were French and Belgians among them too, formed the major part of our forces at that early stage. There's no doubt too that following the Battle of Britain if Hitler had continued for one week more, just one week, instead of going to Russia, we would have been in real trouble as we had nothing left to stop him with by then.

Incidentally, I'm flying the Standard at the Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary at Capel le Ferne on 12 July and that will be an even bigger display but I must be honest, it must be the salt water in the veins that makes the exploits of those Dunkirk Little Ships mean so much.

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Rare footage of Dunkirk landings at Manchester University

 

Rare and unique footage of the Dunkirk evacuation, and Operation Dynamo, has been discovered by the University of Manchester.

The films were shot by Lieutenant Philip Roderick Hall who was serving aboard the destroyer HMS Whitehall, one of hundreds of naval vessels, merchant ships and small boats that took part in the rescue.

Click here for web link



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http://www.operationdynamo75th.co.uk



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PWSTS UK Director

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Well done the Mail on Line - great photographs and coverage.

Mail on Line coverage



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