View as PDF

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

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager at or 07920 818 807

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland