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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 17:40 GMT
Fitting tribute for Dunkirk hero
Dunkirk evacuation
Hundreds of thousands of soldiers were saved at Dunkirk
A Berwickshire admiral who saved thousands of soldiers at Dunkirk has received recognition in his own country - more than 60 years after his death.

Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay had already been honoured by the Russians, French and Germans for his efforts.

A plaque has now been placed in St Paul's Cathedral in London in memory of his contribution during the war.

His family at Leitholm in the Borders have welcomed the recognition of his vital role in helping win World War II.

His son, Maj Gen Charles Ramsay, said it was not his father's way to seek accolades.

If we hadn't got back from Dunkirk there wouldn't have been any Great Britain - Germany would have had the whole lot
Gunner Peter Reid

"He wasn't a person who naturally sought publicity for himself - he wasn't that sort of man," he said.

"He never really received the credit for what he had done."

Admiral Ramsay was killed in action in France shortly before the war ended in 1945.

As well as masterminding the evacuation at Dunkirk he also planned the Normandy landings later in the conflict.

Although he received the Legion of Merit from America and the Legion d'Honneur from France there was nothing from his own country until now.

Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay
Admiral Ramsay died in France shortly before the war ended

"Partly it was because the British system did not work that way," said his son.

One of the men he helped to save, 87-year-old Peter Reid from near Edinburgh, said the importance of Dunkirk should not be underestimated.

"We didn't know if we were going to get off the beach or not," he said.

"After Dunkirk we asked Churchill for a medal but he said we couldn't have a medal - it wasn't a victory, it was a defeat.

"If we hadn't got back from Dunkirk there wouldn't have been any Great Britain - Germany would have had the whole lot."

It is Admiral Ramsay's central role in that operation which has finally been recognised by a small plaque near to that of another great leader - Admiral Lord Nelson.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Tributes to Admiral Ramsay's strategy



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