A flotilla of the surviving Dunkirk Little Ships was due to make the journey across the Channel last year for the 80th anniversary of Operation Dynamo, but like so many other events last summer, the event had to be postponed. Now, with England and France both facing record numbers of COVID infections, the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS), which organises the "return to Dunkirk" commemorative flotillas every five years, has sadly had to cancel the event completely. It is the first time the event has not run since the first return in 1960.
There are numerous Dunkirk Little Ships on the National Register of Historic Vessels, of a wide variety of vessel types, including paddle steamer Medway Queen, Aldeburgh lifeboat Lucy Lavers, steam tug Challenge, gentlemen's motor yacht Hilfranor, motor torpedo boat MTB 102, spritsail barge Greta, fishing trawler Willdora, and pleasure cruiser Coronia.
“We will be welcome to return to Dunkirk in 2025 and we are determined to make this an even more memorable event in remembering the valour of the armed forces who had it far worse than us in 1940,” said ADLS commodore Simon Palmer.
Source: Classic Boat magazine, January 2021
Photo: Hilfranor returning from Dunkirk, 2015 by Simon Palmer