Man lays a wreath at Hastings lifeboat that rescued his father from the beaches of Dunkirk

Standards were paraded during a special remembrance service at the historic Ghost of Dunkirk lifeboat in Hastings Old Town.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 1:41 pm
Hastings Lifeboat Remembrance 2 SUS-191211-092543001

Among those attending was Frank Thurlow, who made the journey from Welling in Kent with his wife Marion.

The lifeboat brought Frank’s father safely back from the war-torn beaches of Dunkirk and he makes a regular pilgrimage to visit it.

Also attending was Hastings Matt, and lifeboats patron Nigel Sinden and Deputy Mayor James Bacon, who is a trustee of the Macbean and Bishop Lifeboat Trust.

Hastings Lifeboat Remembrance SUS-191211-092144001

Work has just been completed to renovate the two historic lifeboats in the Old Town and the Mayor completed the final task of fitting the wheel.

This was followed by the raising of standards and a two minute silence.

The event was filmed and photographed by Sid Saunders and a young video reporter.

Dee Day White said: “The whole event was carried out with dignity and compassion by Hastings and St Leonards Veterans Association, under the watchful eye of Richard Butcher.

“The Mayor and Deputy Mayor then made donations in our new ships Binnacle collecting box and I commented on the Ghost of Dunkirk’s new sails, which were hand-made by Tush Hamilton.

Then, on Sunday morning we made our way to Alexandra Park to lay a wreath for the Ghost of Dunkirk.

“Frank laid a wreath in memory of his father and the men who did not make it back from Dunkirk.”

The Cyril and Lilian Bishop Lifeboat was brought back to Hastings by Dee Day and Tush, who discovered her in a boatyard in France.

She now sits proudly in a permanent dry dock opposite All Saints Church in the Old Town.

The Hastings lifeboat played a major role in rescuing stranded Allied troops at Dunkirk and earned the name ‘The Ghost of Dunkirk’ when she appeared from the mist to pick up the soldiers.

Frank Thurlow commented: “If it wasn’t for that lifeboat, my father would not have returned from Dunkirk in 1940. I know how important she is to the people of Hastings, but also to all those who had relatives on Dunkirk beach.

“Many thanks to all who have been, and still are involved in the work and sponsorship. We must all play our part.”

Tush Hamilton, from the Macbean and Bishop Lifeboat Trust, said: “It is important for Frank to keep a close relationship with the trust, whose responsibility it is to maintain the lifeboat.

“He attends fund raising events and is proud to wear his father’s medals at these events.”

Pictures by Sid Saunders.