Sunday, 16 May 2010


Ramsgate’s famous Little Ship Sundowner is hoisted out of the Royal Harbour at Ramsgate to undergo routine hull maintenance (picture attached) prior to joining around fifty vessels of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships on their cruise to commemorate the WW2 Operation Dynamo. The flotilla will be accompanied by HMS Monmouth a Royal Navy, type 23 Duke Class Frigate and HMS Raider an RNR fast patrol vessel, together with an escorting RNLI lifeboat.

Sundowner, has been present on the regular five yearly voyage, on each occasion since the 50th anniversary event in 1990, having arrived at the Royal Harbour in 1987, when she came under the care of the Ramsgate Maritime Museum.

The ADLS hold a 1940 Operation Dynamo commemoration cruise and service every year at the end of May, choosing a different south east harbour each time. Last year the vessels attending the event assembled in the West India dock in London Docklands.

Sundowner, was built for the Royal Navy in 1912, and will be the oldest vessel taking part in the event this year. However, she has recently undergone a thorough refit, conducted by a team of skilled shipwrights and engineers at Ramsgate. Her six naval trained, local volunteer crew members are now looking forward to sailing to Dunkirk with the ADLS on Thursday May 27th.

John Watkins (01843 228165),
Volunteer boat’s officer,
Ramsgate Maritime Museum.

1 comment:

  1. Hello. I watched the 'War Walks' tv program today which featured Sundowner on her return to Dunkirk. I was simply stunned to learn she was for many years owner by Charles Lightoller of Titanic fame, that he earned the DSO and Bar for heroics in WW1, inludihg sinking a U boat, and that at age 66 he personally took Sundowner to Dunkirk in1940. He was a remarkable man and a brave one. How delighted he would have been to see Sundowner today!A credit to those who have care of her.


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