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Last Updated: Thursday May 27 2010 17:04 GMT

Ricky watches the Dunkirk recreation

Ricky watches Dunkirk recreation

Watch Ricky's report

It's one of the most famous and daring missions in the whole of British history.

During the Second World War, thousands of soldiers who were trapped in France were rescued, in what's now known as the Dunkirk evacuation.

Ricky went to see it recreated off the coast of England as part of the 70th year anniversary.


"Waking up at 5am in the morning isn't always easy, but today I didn't mind. I was excited to see something you don't get to witness everyday.

Almost a hundred small ships set sail from the coast of Ramsgate in Kent. All the boats were heading to France for the 70th anniversary of Dunkirk.

14-year-old heroes

It was May 1940 and British troops were trapped, surrounded by the German army in France with no way out. The harbour in Dunkirk was too shallow for the Royal Navy war ships to get close enough to the shore to rescue them, so hundreds of little ships from Ramsgate in England crossed the channel to help out.

Dunkirk evacuation

70 years since Dunkirk evacuation

The evacuation was on a mammoth scale. Thousands of ordinary men and local sailors, some as young as 14, gave up their boats to rescue as many soldiers as they could from France. Most of the little ships made several trips to Dunkirk, risking everything to get the troops back home onto safe ground.

Dunkirk Spirit

This year, to mark the 70th anniversary, some of the little boats made that incredible journey back to France once again, to re-enact what happened during World War II.

I watched the events unfold. One by one the boats left the Old Port in Ramsgate. As they sailed into the sea they got smaller and smaller until all I could see was a fleet of tiny boats in the distance.

I met up with a group of local school children who told me how proud they were to be part of the 70th anniversary. Many of them said they couldn't believe how brave the soldiers were and the lengths they went to save 340,000 troops from danger. This act of bravery is now known as 'Dunkirk Spirit'.

After a few days in France, the little ships will return to England on Monday."

Ricky