Firefly: The Smallest Survivor From Dunkirk
Navy

Firefly: The Smallest Survivor From Dunkirk

Under a cloudless sky, a flotilla of 'Little Ships' set sail from Ramsgate to Dunkirk in 2015 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of their...

Firefly: The Smallest Survivor From Dunkirk
Under a cloudless sky, a flotilla of 'Little Ships' set sail from Ramsgate to Dunkirk in 2015 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of their famous Second World War mission. One of the more famous among them was 'Firefly'.
 
At just 26 feet overall and with a 2ft l0in draft and a minimum-sized single engine supplemented by a couple of sails, Firefly is one of the tiniest and loveliest of the Little Ships. 
 
She played her part in ferrying troops to safety across the channel by forming part of the armada that helped evacuate troops from Dunkirk on June 1st, 1940.
 
Firefly measures up at 26ft and weighs 5.71 tons
In 1995, a Dunkirk Veteran approached Brian Green, the current owner, and described clambering aboard Firefly on 30th May 1940.
 
Denis Kinnell was then a corporal serving in the RASC and had been waiting on the beach, under fire, for two days.
 
Firefly, manned by a crew of two approached the beach, but refused to go too close, so Denis and three or four colleagues swam out to Firefly pulling a seriously wounded casualty.
 
It was their desperate struggle to board over the transom which is so vivid in Dennis' mind, enabling him to recall features of Firefly's interior with accuracy.
 
Firefly took them out to HMS Anthony, a destroyer offshore, where it was a relatively quiet morning as mist hampered enemy operations.
 
Indeed, they were helped up the gangway as though it were peacetime, before travelling back to Dover. Dennis finished the war in Italy with the rank of Major.
 
Firefly has recently moved to The Swale in Kent under the ownership of Mark and Penny Webb.
Firefly's story is a happy one: she is in an idyllic place and in good hands, with a history to be proud of.