Guide of Dunkirk

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Template:Infobox Ship

The Guide of Dunkirk was a lifeboat whose construction by was funded by the Girl Guides in 1940. She is self-righting and designed for launch from a beach. As one of the Little Ships of Dunkirk she was used in the evacuation of Allied soldiers from Dunkirk in World War II. Between 1941 and 1963 she was stationed as a lifeboat in Cornwall, UK. In 1963 she passed into private ownership.

Before Dunkirk

The £5000 needed to buy a lifeboat was one of the targets of the Guide Gift Week appeal of 1940. Money was donated by Guides throughout the British Empire from their salaries or, for those too young to work, by earning money doing odd jobs.

The Guide of Dunkirk was built by Rowhedge Iron Works in Colchester, UK, and was unnamed when she was called into service straight from the builders' yard for the Dunkirk evacuation on June 1, 1940. She had the designation ON826.


At the evacuation of Dunkirk, she made two crossings. Her crew was made up of men from Walton and Frinton-on-Sea (both in Essex, UK) under British Naval command.

One her first trip, she was used to ferry soldiers off the the beaches to larger boats waiting offshore. She was badly damaged by machine gun fire and a rope got wrapped around her propeller. She was towed back to England stern first.

On her second trip, she was hit by shellfire and was extensively damaged.

After Dunkirk

In May 1941 she was stationed at Cadgwith in Cornwall as an RNLI lifeboat. In 1947 she was named "Guide of Dunkirk" in honour of her history so far.

In 1963, the Cadgwith lifeboat station was closed and the Guide of Dunkirk was sold into private ownership. She was renamed "Girl Guide".

See also