Remembering today the sacrifices made in those dark days of war.
On May 30th 1940 our lifeboat the Thomas Kirk Wright was one of the first lifeboats on scene in Dunkirk harbour, with her Hotchkiss impellers 2.6ft shallow drought and surf capabilities she was ideal. She was manned by naval ratings and was loaded with French soldiers when she came under fire from German troops. Miraculously no one was hit, but the boat was seriously damaged; one engine was burned out and there was a foot of water in her hull. She was saved by her tremendously strong construction with double-skin Honduras mahogany laid diagonally in opposite directions and a frame-work of Indian oak, Canadian rock elm and mahogany secured with brass fastenings. The boat is divided into five separate water-tight compartments, each of which has the whole available space filled with air cases – a total of seventy-one, with another twenty-seven above deck. She was quickly repaired and returned to Dunkirk for a second trip on 2nd June when she was towed across by the tug Foremost 87, together with the RNLI lifeboat, Cecil and Lilian Philpott.
If your passing pop in the Old Lifeboat Museum and pat her bow and stand on the quay side and reflect on the fishing boats, trawlers,local pleasure and tripping boats and Dutch barges that all left Poole Quayside to take part in Operation Dynamo, the armada of little ships that Churchill described as the Miracle of Dunkirk’ .