Yacht used in the evacuation from Dunkirk to return to Poole

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A HISTORIC ‘gentleman’s yacht’ which was requisitioned from Poole Harbor to support the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 will return to Dorset this summer.

Last year three Royal Navy veterans planned to sail Estrallita from the Norfolk Broads to Poole to mark the anniversary of VE Day and Operation Dynamo – the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk during World War II world.

However, as a result of the pandemic, the ship was unable to return to Poole – its original home.

A year later, Estrallita owner Tony Bilson, Michael “Jack” Hawkins BEM and Tom Morrison brought their plans to the surface to raise money for SSAFA, an armed forces charity.

The Estrallita Team Tony Bilson, Michael “Jack” Hawkins and Tom Morrison

Estrallita was requisitioned and sailed 28 May 1940 from Poole Harbour, then requisitioned 1 June 1940, first taking part in Operation Dynamo before being manned by a Royal Navy crew and used as a harbor patrol boat in Poole until the war. finished.

Crew member Tom said: “As Royal Navy veterans, we all understand the importance of the brave men who occupied Estrallita and his role during this time. That’s why we’re going there. ‘take along the coast and back to commemorate the brave men of Poole who undertook the epic journey from there to Dover and Dunkirk in 1940.

“What makes this equally fitting is that we can commemorate the actions of all the services, but in particular the Royal Navy, on the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, by raising funds for SSAFA .

Bournemouth Echo: Estrallita, the 'gentleman's yacht', to return to Poole Harbor as Dunkirk evacuation commemorates‘Gentleman’s yacht‘ Estrallita to return to Poole Harbor as Dunkirk evacuation commemorates

“We know times are a bit difficult for people at the moment, but anything you can spare will go a long way in helping SSAFA support our forces and their families.

“It’s also a way of remembering the sacrifices made in the Falklands and Estrallita’s role in the miracle of Dunkirk in 1940 because it really is the little ship that keeps on giving.”

The vessel was recently added to the National Register of Historic Vessels at the fleet level.

Beginning the journey on May 18, Estrallita is expected to arrive in Lymington on Wednesday June 1, before arriving in Poole on Saturday 4.

Visit justgiving/Estrallita for more information.

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