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Dunkirk Little Ship

Bodger Baz

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Thats sundowner isn't it? She used to belong to Lightoller who was first officer on the Titanic. Years ago when I had a boat at Penton hook on the Thames the boat in the next berth was a ships launch from the Destroyer Wolfhound. she had a plaque. each one gives the boats name and individual number. God I coveted it!

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When the Dunkirk summons sounded in may '40 the 'sundowner', was hastily fitted out, the Commander (Lightoller. RnR), his son and a sea scout, took this motor cruiser across, entered between the jetties and lay alongside a destroyer.

Whilst the latter shelled the enemy, no fewer than 150 soldiers, - about four times more than permissable in peace time, - were stowed away like potato's.

They lay on the cabin floor, packed themselves tight round the diesel engine, some overflowed into the bath.

When the sundowner got out to sea, she felt like a saucer poised on a peak; one push, and over she would go.

Exciting moments in mid channel when the double wash from from British and French Destroyers assailed her, but those fast ex Dover-Calis steamers were almost as bad.The only thing to do was to stop engines, meet waves bows-on, never mind the wetting or groans of seasick sailors.



This passage, taken from E.Keeble Chatterton's book, The Epic Of Dunkirk. Nov 1940.

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