On Sunday, Prince Michael of Kent arrived at Teddington Lock on one of the original boats involved in the Dunkirk evacuations – the Bluebird – to unveil the memorial which pays tribute to those involved in the evacuation 70 years ago.
John Tough (grandson of Douglas) first read a speech explaining how the memorial is dedicated to three main aspects of the evacuation:
- The British Soldiers themselves – killed, injured and taken prisoner of war
- Navy and civilian personnel who risked their own lives to pilot the boats during the evacuation
- Men like Douglas Tough who organised the Little Ships
Photo: Brian Holder (Teddington Society)
Prince Michael met survivors of the little ships operation and Royal British Legion members and also gave a tribute speech which includes a quote from Churchill who described the event as “A miracle of deliverance”.
The memorial was due to be created for 10 years ago for the 60th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuations but objections were made to the wording of the monument for including phrases such as ‘victory’ and ‘Second World War’ which the Environment Agency thought would be inappropriate and offensive to foreigners. The agreed memorial has slightly changed text to read ‘How Teddington’s “Little Ships” helped win the Second World War’.
Video coverage by Alan Benns.
The unveiling also coincided with the 200th anniversary of Teddington Lock.