Dunkirk evacuation 'little ships' mark 71st anniversary

  • 29 May 2011
  • From the section Kent

A service has taken place in Kent to mark the 71st anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation during World War II.

Up to 30 "little ships" that took part in the rescue of 380,000 British and French men from the beaches of northern France gathered in Ramsgate.

The remembrance service was held at the Fisherman's Church in the Royal Harbour, followed by a wreath laying ceremony off-shore.

Last year about 64 ships headed to France to mark the 70th anniversary.

The original evacuation, codenamed Operation Dynamo, took place between 26 May and 4 June 1940.

It involved 900 naval and civilian craft, including fishing boats, pleasure crafts, paddle steamers and lifeboats, which were sent across the Channel under RAF protection.

Historians say the evacuation boosted British morale at a crucial point of the war.

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