Dunkirk lifeboat can now raise the flag but who will have the honour?

Lifeboat Flag SUS-180223-101832001
Lifeboat Flag SUS-180223-101832001

The MacBean and Bishop Lifeboat Trust has now received the flag that can be flown by the Cyril and Lillian Bishop Lifeboat to acknowledge that she is one of the Dunkirk ‘Little Ships’

The Hastings lifeboat played a vital role in rescuing cut-off Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War and earned the name ‘The Ghost of Dunkirk’.

Dee Day White who, with Tush Hamilton was instrumental in bringing the boat back to Hastings, said: “This old lady of the sea has been given the recognition she deserves. She can now fly this flag with pride.

“It has taken almost a year of research and archive hunting by local historian David Renno to get this far.

“The question now is - which privileged person will be responsible for the first flag raising on board the boat and when?

“The honour of this occasion is in memory of her work on the Dunkirk beaches and those who did not make it home.

“This will be such a special event for the Old Town calendar and a date will be confirmed.”

On May 30 1940 the call went out from the admiralty asking all small ships with a shallow draft, capable of going in close ashore, to make their way to Dover and Ramsgate.

The lifeboat was taken there by her Hastings crew and then went across the Channel to Dunkirk.

The Cyril and Lilian Bishop could carry 25 - 30 soldiers at a time with her Royal Navy crew supervising and went back and forth for four days and nights under fire from enemy aircraft.

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