Commemorating The Medway Queen
In the quiet harbour town of Ramsgate, Kent, amidst the 75th Anniversary of Dunkirk commemorations, sits an historic paddle steamer, The Medway Queen. She has been moored here to commemorate the 7000 souls she saved during the Evacuations 75 years ago during Operation Dynamo.
In 1940 this historic vessel was requisitioned by the Admiralty and became a minesweeper armed with a 12-pounder gun on the foredeck and a machine gun in each paddle box. Having been one of the first ships to arrive on the beaches at Dunkirk, she was also one of the last to leave and of the 861 ships that took part in the evacuation only Royal Navy Destroyers made more crossings. On her final crossing her starboard paddle box had become badly damaged but she limped back across the channel through the inferno that Dunkirk and the surrounding waters had become towards Dover, towards home.
Vice Admiral Ramsey, in command of the evacuation signalled “Well done Medway Queen!” and the entire port rang with sirens to welcome home the heroine of Dunkirk.
As part of the commemorations we have worked with the Medway Queen Preservation society in an effort to restore this heroic vessel back to her former glory. On board are displayed 7000 Airfix Model soldiers, each one representing one of the 7000 lives she saved 75 years ago.
It took 5 people three and a half hours to place all of the model soldiers and we think you’ll agree the display is not only impressive but a poignant reminder of the immense bravery shown by the soldiers and everyone involved in Operation Dynamo.
You too can help save The Medway Queen, a small donation will remove one of the soldiers from the display and go some way to help with the restorations.
Visit their website for more information and to make a donation.
This Bank Holiday weekend you can visit the Medway Queen and see the models for yourself in Ramsgate Harbour as part of the 75th Anniversary Commemorations where there have been fly overs and the largest gathering of little ships sailing to Dunkirk for many years.