Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dunkirk to Deptford

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation. In May 1940, thousands of British and French troops were trapped in a small area around Dunkirk, and although Navy ships waited offshore they were too large to get close to the beaches. A flotilla of 'little ships' with shallow drafts sailed from Britain and carried thousands of troops from the beaches to the naval ships, or even all the way back to England, rescuing over 300,000 in nine days. The Bristol Evening Post has the story of a Deptford boat's role in the events.

Tom Mogg, now a pensioner living in Bristol, was an apprentice with the General Steam Navigation Company. They sent ten Thames pleasure boats from Deptford: these were particularly suitable as they could hold several thousand passengers and travel at up to 21 knots. When the boats returned, Tom was given the job of recording the damage to one, the Royal Daffodil. As well as thousands of bullet holes, it had damage from being dive-bombed on its final journey. The bomb narrowly missed the fuel tank, but did leave a large hole in the hull which had to be blocked with mattresses and timber so the boat could limp home.

Read the full story here.

1 comment:

Deptford Dame said...

Lovely story, thanks for that!