Dunkirk Little Ship Restoration Project
  • Operation Dynamo

    Operation Dynamo

  • Coronia2 03a 900

    Coronia2 03a 900

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  • Operation Dynamo

When the call came on the 29th May 1940 to  rescue  the  stranded  troops  from the  Dunkirk   beaches  everything  from  cockleshell  boats  upwards  answered the call. the river Thames was blocked by a flotilla of vessels of every size, manned  by  young  and  old  with  one  destination  in mind  [Ramsgate  harbour  then  on  to  Dunkirk]

A  great  many  did  not  return  as they  were  bombed  or  machine  gunned  by  enemy  aircraft. Some losing all hands as they picked up the troops from Dunkirk beaches, 700 little ships were to take part in operation Dynamo

Sadly 250  of  the  little  ships  did  not  return.

As  a  result  of  operation  Dynamo  the  little  ships  and  naval vessels  off  the  Dunkirk beaches  and  harbour between  the  29th  May and the 4thJune

337,131 British and French  troops were evacuated, approximately a third of these were taken of the beaches by the little ships.

Most of the army had been saved snatching glory  out  of  defeat.  The  whole  country  would  breath  a  sigh  of  relief  and  give  thanks,

Coronia [Watchful] had worked from the beaches taking out troops to the bigger ferries and destroyers which would be anchored about a mile from the shore for the first days of the operation, then towards the end of the operation she made three more trips across the channel  to  bring  home  900  more  troops home ready  to  fight again.

The crew of Watchful saying to the men when she was full to capacity  WE WILL  BE  BACK and  she  did  return time after time

  Lt A.H Turner received the D.S.C during  this  operation  to  commemorate  her gallant  service as part of  this  fleet which  braved  the  enemy  in  those  fateful  days of  the  summer  of  1940 when  the  fate  of France was sealed and the battle of Britain was about to begin Watchful  [Coronia]  PROUDLY  flew  the  flag  of  the  association  of  Dunkirk  little  ships at  her masthead

on December the 12th 1945 returned to her owners and was named M.V Brit . in 1991    she  was  brought  to  Scarborough  were  she  won  the  hearts  of  holiday  makers  and  residents  alike  many  fond  memories  have  been  made  on  Coronia  parents  and  grandparents  escorted  there  children  on  many  a trip  ” happy  days  “

THE  plan  for the  coronia  is  to  bring  her   up  to  mca  standards  also  to  serve   morning  coffees  and  afternoon  teas  as  it  was  in  the  forties   and  there  will  be  a  person  to  tell  her  history .With  this in mind we hope to employ ten staff these jobs will be of a skilled nature we would hope these jobs could go to people without work and give them new hope as our little ship did all those years ago also maybe schools would be interested in bringing pupils a board to bring to life the studies in history this little ship will never make us any money but we believe  shes worth the  restoration.