Tickets to hear Michael Buerk talk at Chalke Valley History Festival go on sale

Lifeboats News Release

Michael Buerk, broadcaster and long term Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) supporter will deliver a talk at the Chalke Valley History Festival about the Lifeboats of Dunkirk.


Michael Buerk

The festival, which runs from 26 June – 3 July, is a celebration of British history with talks, displays and re-enactments and will be held at Church Bottom, Broad Chalke, between Salisbury and Shaftesbury. Tickets for the talk scheduled for 5pm on Friday 30 June, will go on sale this week (26 April) via the Festival’s website priced at £13.

Michael will tell how 77 years ago, two volunteer lifeboat crews and 19 RNLI lifeboats joined an armada of little ships for one of the Second World War’s greatest rescues.

Michael Buerk, says: ‘I am a passionate supporter of the RNLI. The charity provides a professional and reliable rescue service, and the fact that this is delivered by volunteers is great.

'I am honoured to be part of the Chalke Valley History Festival, it’s an enchanting event that appeals to all ages, and I am looking forward to sharing the part RNLI volunteers played in this pivotal moment during the Second World War. It’s such a tale of courage and determination, it’s guaranteed to inspire and move festival goers.’

In 1940 the British Navy attempted an audacious wartime operation: the evacuation of 340,000 troops under fire from the beaches of northern France. The ‘miracle of Dunkirk’ as it became known, would change the course of the Second World War - and challenge the lifeboats of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to tackle a very different kind of rescue.

For more information on the RNLI’s involvement with the Chalke Valley History festival, visit the website

Notes to editors

  • The lecture takes place at 5pm on Friday 30 June and tickets will be available from :
  • Please find an image of Eastbourne’s RNLI lifeboat Jane Holland showing the damage she sustained during the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940. Credit RNLI
  • Please find attached an image of broadcaster Michael Buerk, credit BBC

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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