'Dit is deel van ons geskiedenis' seun se strewe om Dunkirk 'Little Ship' te herstel | VK | Nuus

'Dit is deel van ons geskiedenis' seun se strewe om Dunkirk 'Little Ship' te herstel | VK | Nuus

A Royal Navy veteran’s son who rescued a Dunkirk little ship from a bonfire is appealing for help to restore it to its former glory.

Philip Hammond originally saved the Southern Queen from being burnt at the end of the 1990s.

He got the ship back to a functioning state, meaning that in 2010 it could sail back to the French port for the 70th anniversary of its role in the evacuation of British troops.

However, engine problems meant the ship was taken out of the water. After several years in storage, its condition was assessed as “terminal”.

Now, Philip, 82 – whose father John served as a gunner in the Second World War – is looking to raise £250,000 to restore the boat so it can return to France in 2025.

He said: “It’s a part of our history. All of these Dunkirk Little Ships are and it’s very important that they are all preserved.

“I put in the full funding for the first return but obviously it’s reached a stage where the restoration costs are a lot higher.

“I would like to seek help in funding it because it will become a national treasure.”

Built in 1926, the 51ft Southern Queen was part of Operation Dynamo, which saw the rescue of more than 338,000 British and French soldiers from Dunkirk in June 1940.

After the war, it carried day trippers on pleasure cruises off Folkstone, Kent, and then from 1957, the Isles of Scilly.

It was eventually retired and left to languish on a beach in St Mary’s.

Philip, from Kent, ran his own retail business. He was inspired to rescue the Southern Queen in the late 1990s after he read a newspaper article saying it was at risk of being burnt.

A shipwright offered to help restore the boat and in 2000 it sailed back to Dunkirk. Philip said during this time, his wife Rachael – who has since passed away – was a “great support” as she looked after his business while he restored the boat.

It sailed to Dunkirk again in 2010 but engine issues prevented it from joining the Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

The boat was put in storage but earlier this year it was transported to Southampton so work could begin.

Shipwright Andy Willett, 46, is undertaking the restoration. He said: “The damage underneath was looking like it was going to be terminal.

“We are going to try really hard to make her look like she did when she went to Dunkirk.”

Hierdie artikel het die eerste keer in ENGELS verskyn op https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1838845/dunkirk-little-ship