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• The 'Little Ships' return to Teddington

• The 'Little Ships' return to Teddington

In bright sunshine, a glorious flotilla of Little Ships gathered at Teddington Lock on the River Thames this weekend, to commemorate the historic evacuation of 385,000 British and Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in June 1940.

Teddington, of course, had a special part to play in the evacuation – because it was from here that Douglas Tough organised and assembled 120 private boats to join in the venture, which saved many thousands of lives against all the odds. Douglas Tough owned a boatyard on the banks of the Thames at Teddington – and although both he and the boatyard are now long gone, their incredible achievements are remembered every year with gratitude and affection. Not least among those who keep the boatyard flame alive is Douglas’s grandson, John, a great friend of the Society.

This year, more than 20 original Little Ships – each one in immaculate condition and a joy to behold – gathered at the Lock, along with a large crowd of well-wishers. The event was organised by the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships.

Teddington Lock, an island built in 1810, is the lowest full-tide lock on the river.

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