Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C


Video + Gallery: Little Ships’ daring deeds of wartime remembered at thanksgiving service in Ipswich

11:00 27 May 2013

Hundreds gathered for the remembrance service of the Dunkirk Little Ships at the Haven Marina in Ipswich.

Hundreds gathered for the remembrance service of the Dunkirk Little Ships at the Haven Marina in Ipswich.


Courage and sacrifice were remembered as a flotilla of the heroic Little Ships arrived in Suffolk to mark the 73rd anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk.


The vessels visited Ipswich for a parade and poignant quayside open-air memorial and thanksgiving service, with the ships open for the public to visit during the weekend.

Sailing up the River Orwell to Haven Marina, the ships were a magnificent sight, some of the contingent well in to their 80s, the remainder of around 700 small boats which between them help to evacuate 338,000 allied troops in Operation Dynamo.

Many of the boats that took part in the operation were never intended to go to sea and included little fishing boats, cabin cruisers, small ferries and gentlemen’s Thames launches.

The Harwich Royal British Legion Pipe Band led the parade along the dock, followed by the standard bearers of forces organisations, war veterans, cadet force groups, and civic dignitaries.

Thirteen mayors took part including the Mayor of Ipswich Hamil Clarke and mayoress Daisy Weekes, along with their counterparts from towns including Felixstowe, Colchester, Diss, Haverhill, Sudbury, the Lord Mayor of Norwich, and council chairmen and officials.

Rev Gordon Warren, a chaplain with the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, led the service, which he said was to recall “the bravery and courageous deeds” of the small boats which took part in the rescue mission between May 27 and June 4, 1940.

He said: “The uppermost thought in people’s minds was our troops need rescuing and I have the means to help.

“It revealed the highest motivation, courage and unconditional love.

“Looking at these beautiful Little Ships, we see a stirring sacrifice and resolution in the face of a determined foe. We should never forget the deeds of these fine vessels and their crews.”

He said the actions of the crews, carried out under heavy aerial attack from the German forces, could be regarded as a miracle.

Historians agree that had the evacuation not been successful, England would almost certainly have lost the war.

The ships will sail from Ipswich at 1pm today.


1 comment

Broomhill Swimming Pool in Ipswich has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. L-R: Robyn Llewellyn (head of Heritage Lottery Fund - East of England), Cllr Bryony Rudkin, Tim Mills, Garath Jones and Mark Ling.

Broomhill pool in Ipswich could reopen to the public at Easter 2018 – its 80th anniversary – after its re-opening proposals got the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Georgia and Jodie Mutch have lost 8.5 stone between them after joining Slimming World. The sisters are pictured in Ipswich. Georgis is on left on the latest photo

Jodie Mutch and sister Georgia are celebrating new slim-line figures after losing five stone and three stone respectively.

The Robin Hood Country Show will feature a jousting display.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are our top ideas.

One of the CCTV images police have issued in their search for a teenager who stole a bicycle from Grimwade Street, Ipswich

Police have issued CCTV images of a teenager they are keen to trace after a bicycle was stolen from Grimwade Street in Ipswich.

Average speed camera.

Average speed cameras on the A12 on the Essex and Suffolk border have not yet been switched on – three months after they were installed.

Thomas Harvey's winning entry in the Landguard Photography Competition 2015.

Stunning photographs of Suffolk’s most southerly point attracted big interest on-line with around 800 people voting for their favourite.

Police attended to the incident

A car has crashed into a house in Bury St Edmunds and destroyed a fish tank.

Could Broomhill Pool be on the brink of restoration?

Hopes of restoring Ipswich’s Broomhill Pool have today received a huge boost with the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has made an interim award to the project.

All of the alleged sexual assaults happened on buses in Suffolk.

More needs to be done to empower women in Suffolk to come forward about sexual assaults, a campaigner has said.

Police are investigating the incident

Police have issued CCTV images of three people they are keen to identify following a theft from a Co-op supermarket in Felixstowe

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages