Dunkirk Little Ships making a stop at Ramsgate harbour

DLS Maimonde coming into Ramsgate Photo Sarah Hewes

A small fleet of Dunkirk Little Ships will stay at Ramsgate harbour while their crews wait for a weather window that allows them to travel to Poole for an event on August 15.

DLS Maimonde arrived safely into Ramsgate yesterday (July 3) after her maiden voyage following restoration.

She will be joined today by DLS Breda, also on her maiden voyage to sea after restoration and DLS Lady Lou, which set sail from Teddington this morning.

On route they will be joined by Riis II. The fleet will remain in Ramsgate until setting sail for the Poole VE / VJ Heritage Event.

The Little Ships took part in the World War II evacuation of Dunkirk in June 1940 – known as Operation Dynamo.

This was the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, in the north of France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940.

The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships aims to keep alive and preserve for posterity the memory and identity of those ‘Little Ships’ that went to the aid of the British Expeditionary Force in 1940 and took part in Operations Dynamo.

Find the association online here


  1. Tremendous to see a few of these Little Ships returning to Ramsgate once again. Had we not got those boys off the beaches in 1940 with the bravery of all those sailors, RNLI volunteers and especially the civilian personnel who sailed their own craft under almost constant bombardment to save people they had never met then the world today would be a very different place. Lest we forget and all residents of and visitors to Ramsgate should remain proud and maintain this memory.

    • Indeed. My wife and I (both ex Ramsgate) are always annoyed that the recent film of Dunkirk made no mention of Ramsgate. Instead it mentioned Weymouth as a landing point – our reaction – whaaaatt!!
      Her mum was one of the people who met the soldiers at the harbour and filled in postcards for their relatives – ‘safe in England’.

      • Fantastic connection! Yes I wasn’t happy about the lack of reference either but put it down to trying to find somewhere that looked similar to 1940 in the film although I don’t know if Weymouth is where it was filmed.

        The film ‘Darkest Hour’ re Churchill always raises my spirits when Churchill jabs at the map showing Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate before Operation Dynamo! We now have a ‘Little Ships’ restaurant in Ramsgate, with I believe the owner’s grandfather being involved in the evacuation and Ramsgate deserves more in my opinion of national recognition re Dunkirk.

  2. We live in Staffordshire but as a twice a year visitors to beautiful Ramsgate we wish we could see
    This, but we were there in July and returning again in September! Always seem to miss the best events. For us, Ramsgate is steeped in history and we love this little town.

  3. Great I can’t wait to go to the harbour to see these little boats that saved so many of our soldiers. Well done all of you and I’m pleased they have been restored.
    I remember going to the harbour many years ago with my mum and two children as we watched them coming into the harbour it was so moving as they all sounded their horns, and we all clapped and cheered them.

  4. I was born in Broadstairs and remember the boat belonging to the harbourmaster Jack Croom. His boat was called “Perseverance” and took hundreds of holiday makers around the Thanet coast after the war. Sadly she was lost when set adrift from the harbour. A boat that had been to Dunkirk was thus lost. I named my flying fifteen keel boat in her honour.

  5. Anyone remember the little ship Britannic? It used to do pleasure trips from Ramsgate Harbour a long time ago, the skipper had taken it to Dunkirk.

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