Jubilee: Floating spectacle set to be highlight of celebrations

FOR many tomorrow’s flotilla will be the centrepiece of a weekend of celebrations.

And Britain’s Second World War history will be recalled with some 40 Dunkirk “little ships” taking to the water alongside more than 1,000 boats of all shapes and sizes.

Still waterborne 72 years on, the boats will undertake another historic mission of sorts, although rescues this time are not part of the plan.

The ships earned their place in the country’s wartime heritage after Operation Dynamo swung into action. Many of them private fishing and pleasure boats, they were drafted in by the Royal Navy to help rescue hundreds of thousands from the shores of northern France.

Between May 27 and June 4 1940, 338,000 were scooped up.

Also heading along the Thames will be a crew from Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, aboard Victor.

The historic Suffolk-built Thames barge sailed from Ipswich and will take prime position alongside HMS Belfast near Tower Bridge in the Avenue of Sails.

Most Read

They will salute the Queen and other members of the Royal Family who will be aboard the Royal barge The Spirit of Chartwell at the head of the flotilla.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter