Thousands gather to watch ‘little ships’ sail off for Dunkirk to mark 75th anniversary

Around 50 small vessells steamed out of Ramsgate harbour in Kent to mark the moment hundreds of naval and civilian boats were used to rescue 198,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force as well as 140,000 French and Belgian soldiers from Dunkirk between May 24 and June 3 1940.

And today hundreds of people lined the harbour walls as the famous boats made their way out on to calm seas beyond the breakwater, whooping and cheering as those aboard waved to them.