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DUNKIRK

 
Page last updated 26-4-2010
 
DUNKIRK 26 MAY-3 JUNE 1940
Over 1300 vessels took part in Operation Dynamo, the official name for the Dunkirk evacuation. Over 50 of them were tugs. Listed below are tugs known to have assisted  directly or indirectly in the operation. Some of the busiest vessels were those that served throughout at ports like Dover and Ramsgate, ceaselessly berthing and refuelling the arriving 'little ships'. Vessels names shown in blue are detailed in the fleet lists on this site. Those listed in red did not return from the operation. It is hoped to expand the details of other vessels in due course. All were steam tugs.
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 Letter to George Lowe, when he was captain of the SIMLA, just as the Dunkirk evacuation got under way.
Courtesy of Mike Houckham [George Lowe's grandson.]
 
Dunkirk certificate and letter of appreciation to George Edward Boyd, fireman on Java, both kindly supplied by Ian Boyd.
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AID.     
 
Built 1914 by Bow, McLachlan and Co., Paisley. YN313. 90.3'x18.6'x9.3'. 134grt. 500ihp 2x 2cyl 12"x24"x18"s compound engines by builder. Twin screw. Official No. 136719.Callsign MFQP.
 
 9-1914 Delivered to BoT London for Ramsgate Harbour Trustees. 1921 Owners Ministry of Transport, London. 1934 Owners Borough of Ramsgate.  1937 Owners  Risdon Beazley, Southampton.28-8-1939 Req by RN. 4-12-1939 Returned to owners. 6-1940 At Dunkirk.  Lost 29-11-1940 7 miles SSW Start Point, Sunk by German Destroyer. 5 crew lost.
 
BETTY.     
 
Built 1907 by Cran and Co, Leith.  119grt. 82'x22'2''x10'11''. 3cylTE. 540ihp . Official No 125582.
 
  Owners Gaselee and Son, London . 1927 Acquired from Humphrey and Grey Ltd for £3150. Worked at Ramsgate throughout Dunkirk operation. Master G. Finch. 1946 Sold to Belgian interests for £590.
 
C9.     
 
Built 1919 by W. J.  Yarwood and Sons, Northwich. YN269.  89'x21'x10'5''. 138grt. 450ihp 2cyl compound  engine by builder. Official No. 143336.
 
1919 Delivered to The Admiralty as HS98.  Portsmouth Naval Stores Dept. tug. 19?? Renamed C9. 1938 Rengined with 2cyl compound by Yarwoods. 5-1940  Master at Dunkirk  C. Treleaven. 1-6-1940 1715 Landed 23 Dunkirk evacuees at Ramsgate. 3-5-1950 Sold to E Handcock Ltd, Cardiff. Renamed Lavernock. 20-6-1958 Run down and sank Bristol Channel. 1-8-1958 Salved, towed to Cardiff and later broken up by Cashmores at Newport Mon.
 
C11.    
 
Built 1938 by Cook Welton and Gemmell, Beverley. YN647. 85'x24'. 143grt. 503ihp engine by C. D. Holmes.
 
9-1938 Launched  as Foremost 91. Owners James Dredging and Towage, London. 1939 Sold to  The Admiralty renamed C11.  Portsmouth Naval Stores Depot tug. 1959 Renamed Regard. 25-5-1966 Sold for demolition to Jos de Smedt, Antwerp.  
 
CERVIA [1]
 
CHALLENGE
 
CONTEST
 
CRESTED COCK
 
DORIA
 
DROMEDARY
    
Built 1911 in Holland? 63.3'x15.1'x7.8'. 55grt. 250ihp 3cylTE engine by Alblasserdamsche Machinefabriek. Official No. 184369.
 
1911  Delivered to Antverpia SA de Remorqueurs Anversois, Antwerp, named  President Armand Grisar.  Req by RN 3-1940 Based Sheerness. Renamed Dromedary  . Master Sub/Lt T. Lawrie. 6-10-1947 Sold to F W Payne, Canvey Island, Essex. 1951 Owners H R Mitchell and Sons, Woolwich. 1955 Scrapped.
 
DUKE    
 
Built 1927 by John Chalmers, Lowestoft. 250ihp steam engine.
 
Owners Samuel Williams Lighterage Ltd., London. Master at Dunkirk  B. Mansfield. 29-5-1941 Req by RN. 20-5-1946 Returned to Owners. 1952 Scrapped. 
 
ELBE    
 
Built 1905 by A Vuijk Capelle, Yssel. L93,2'. B21.3'. D11.4'.  150grt. 3cylTE 12"x20"x33"x24"s steam engine.
 
Owners SA Helice, Antwerp. Lost in Dunkirk Harbour but salved and used by Germans until sunk 7-10-1942.
 
EMPIRE HENCHMAN   
 
Built 1939. Cochrane and Sons, Selby.YN1206. 105.4'x26.6'x12.3' 243grt. 3cylTE engine by C.D. Holmes, Hull. Official No. 167402. 31-8-1939 Launched as Karl for Goteburg Bogserings Sweden.  Req by  MoWT whilst fitting out. 23-11-1940 Completed as Empire Henchman, managers United Towing Co, Hull. Damaged by bombs at Dunkirk. Master F. Fisher. 1946 Returned to owners renamed Karl. 1963 Sold to Capieci Societe di Navigazione SPA, Italy, renamed Capo Faro. 1988 Still in service.
 
FABIA
 
FAIRPLAY 1
 
FOREMOST 22
 
FOREMOST 87
 
FOSSA
 
Built 1929. Alexander Hall, Aberdeen. Official No 161295.  Owners Gaselee and Son, London. Acquired 1929 cost £8500. 105grt. 81'x21'6''x10'10''. 3cylTE. 500ihp.
 
Lost on 2nd June 1940. Beached and abandoned but reputed to have been later salved  and used by Germans. Master G. Finch. 
 
GOLIATH
 
1921 by Forg. et Ch. de la Med, Havre, for French Government as L'Etalon. 354grt. 131.3'x28.6'x13.9'. 3cylTE 14.5"x23.5"x36.5"x27" stroke steam engine by builder. 
 
 1925 Purchased by SA Helice Antwerp and renamed Goliath. Later W121 for Admiralty before returned to Helice. 4-6-1940  07.45 Landed 153 Dunkirk evacuees at Dover.  1958 Scrapped. The only survivor of the five Belgian tugs at Dunkirk.
 
GONDIA
 
HIBERNIA
 
JAVA
 
KENIA
 
LADY BRASSEY
 
1913. J P Rennoldson, S. Shields. Owners Dover Harbour Board. 362grt. Twin Screw. Twin Funnel. At Dover until 1958. Master F. Hopgood.
 
LUTTEUR
 
 Built 1919 by Arsenal, Brest. L40.20M. B8M. D4M. 400grt. 700ihp 2x 3cylTE steam engines. Twin screw.
 
1919 Delivered to French Navy. 30-5-1940 13.00 Landed 79 Dunkirk evacuees at Dover. 2-6-1940 11.50 Landed 208 Dunkirk evacuees at Dover.  18-6-1940 Scuttled at Brest to prevent capture by German forces. 1940 Salved and  repaired by  German Navy, renamed V 1801. 2-10-1940 Transferred to Unternehmen Seelöwe, renamed O 22 S. 12-1941 Sunk, later Salved and repaired. 21-10-1942 Ttransferred to Wilhelmshaven. 1-5-1944 Renamed NT 54. 25-4-1944 Sunk by  bombing at Kiel. 12-1944 Salved. 1945 Returned to  French Navy renamed Lutteur. 24-10-1951 Offered for disposal and probably scrapped.
 
 
MARQUIS
 
1902. Built Holland. Owners Samuel Williams Lighterage Ltd, London. 49grt. 65'5''x15'6''.
 
 
MAX
 
1911. Built by Goole Shipbuilding and Repair Co. Ltd.  as Moreno. 100'x23.1'x10.4'. 3cylTE 13.5"x22"x37"x24" stroke steam engine by Earles Ltd, Hull.  Owners at Dunkirk  Remorquage Letzer, Belgium. 30-5-1940 Lost at Dunkirk by bombing.
 
OCEAN COCK
 
PERSIA
 
PRIMA
 
Built 1930 by  Yarwood and Sons, Northwich. 40grt. 55'1''x15'1''.
 
 Owners James Dredging and Transport, London. 1-6-1940 17.30 Landed 28 Dunkirk evacuees at Ramsgate. Master J. Morran. 1950's sold to W E White, London renamed Doris White. Scrapped 1982. 
 
PRINCE
 
Built 1925. 57grt. 250ihp. Owners Samuel Williams Lighterage Ltd, London. Master J. Benson.
 
PRINCESS
 
Owners Samuel Williams Lighterage Ltd., London. Master J Wallis.
 
RACIA
 
RISBAN
 
1924. French. 159grt. Served with RN 1941-1945.
 
ROMAN
 
Built 1906. 108grt. Rennoldson, South Shields. YN243.
 
1906 Delivered to T Gray, Hull. Req by RN 1917-1919. 1921 Acquired by United Towing Co. Ltd., Hull.  Req by RN 8-1939 to 11-1945.   Owners at Dunkirk United Towing Co. Ltd., Hull. Worked at Dover throughout operation. 1961 Scrapped at Gateshead.
 
ST ABBS
 
1918. Ferguson Bros., Pt. Glasgow. Owners The Admiralty. 468grt. 135'6''x29'. Master Lt. T. Brooker RN. Retd. Bombed and sunk on 2-6-1940.
 
ST CLEARS
 
1919. Livingston and Cooper. Owners The Admiralty. 468grt. 135'6''x29'. Master W. J. Penney. Sold 1948 to Risdon Beazley, Southampton.
 
ST FAGAN
 
Built 1919 by Lytham Shipbuilding Co., Lytham. YN575 Saint class tug.  135'6''x29'x 13.6'. 420grt. 1200ihp 3ctlTE 18.25"x28.5"x48.25"x28"s steam engine by builder. ON143309
 
21-1-1918 Launched. 1918 Delivered to The Admiralty, London. . Master at Dunkirk Lt/Cdr G. Warren. Bombed and sunk 1-6-1940.
 
ST OLAVES
 
1919. Harland and Wolffe, Govan. Owners The Admiralty. 468grt. 135'6''x29'. Master H. Forrester. Wrecked 21-9-1942 near Duncansby Head. .
 
SIMLA
 
SULTAN
 
No Details known except transported 193 troops.
 
SUN
 
SUN III
 
SUN IV
 
SUN V
 
SUN VII
 
SUN VIII
 
SUN X
 
SUN XI
 
SUN XII
 
SUN XV
 
TANGA
 
THAMES
 
1904. Built in Holland. Owners SA Helice, Antwerp. 144grt. 30-5-1940 Lost in Dunkirk harbour by bombing but salvaged and used by Germans until sunk at Le Havre 15-6-1944.
 
TRAPU
 
1919. Built in France? French owners.  226grt. Sunk at Le Havre 15-6-1944.
 
VINCIA
 
VULCAIN
 
1903. 200grt. W71 with RN 1917-1919. Owners SA Helice, Antwerp. 30-5-1940Lost at Dunkirk by bombing.
 
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TCD GOES TO WAR


MY THANKS GO TO ALAN CREAGH FOR MAKING AVAILABLE THE INFORMATION AND PICTURES IN THIS FEATURE.
 
Thomas Morgan, Alan Creagh's Grandfather, Served on Watkins Gondia during WW2, including service on her when based in Reykjavik, Iceland. During the Dunkirk operation he served on the Steam Hopper Barge Gallions Reach, which rescued 123 men from the beaches and returned them to England. The Gallions Reach was a very similar vessel to the Lady Southborough of the same company, a model of which is pictured below. Towards the end of the war he was Third Engineer on the Empire Susan, later serving again on Gondia, Contest, Danube IV, Danube V, and Danube VII. In 1949 Alan's uncle Terry Morgan joined Danube IV as brass boy, joined the PLA in 1963 to serve on Placard and went on to be Mate and Skipper of Plangent.
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Lady Southborough, a very similar vessel to Gallions Reach. Photo Alan Creagh.
 
Certificate awarded to Thomas Morgan by TCD regarding his service at Dunkirk. Photo Alan Creagh.
 
Certificate awarded to Thomas Morgan by the town of Dunkirk. Photo Alan Creagh.
 
A page from the discharge book of Thomas Morgan detailing service on Gondia and Empire Susan. Photo Alan Creagh.
 
Thomas Morgan (R) on his retirement from TCD. Photo Alan Creagh.
 
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