Historian John Ray on the RNLI’s 200 Voices podcast
200 Voices an RNLI podcast

‘You can only be amazed at what they went through’

Episode 15 – Lifesaving in Wartime: John Ray

We shall save them on the beaches: RNLI archivist John Ray on the Ramsgate crew who braved bombs and bullets at Dunkirk.

The sea is daunting enough. But perhaps never more so than in May, 1940, when two RNLI lifeboat crews launched into WW2. Joining an armada of 700 ‘little ships’, the volunteers embarked on Operation Dynamo. Evading enemy submarines, bursting shells and raging fires, the two crews ferried 3,400 troops to safety. When people talk of Dunkirk spirit, they are talking about the kind of spirit showed by the lifeboat crews of Ramsgate and Margate.

Discover more about the RNLI’s involvement in Operation Dynamo.