Came running, dockers, dentists, gardeners and tradesmen,
Eager to bring our lads back, there and then.
Jump into their small boats, engines to work,
Our nondescript flotilla sailed for Dunkirk.
Unprotected, they turned towards pillars of fire;
Roar of the guns, impending death in the mire.
A thousand small craft, vulnerable, weightless,
Show naval spirit, the rock of our greatness.
From the Goodwin Sands to the Dunkirk Roads,
They came on to collect, their precious loads.
A strange sense of wonder, for the whole affair,
As if our enterprise, was in God’s care.
For, at Dunkirk, many miracles occurred…..
Their E-boats were slow and some barely stirred.
Von Rundstedt paused, before a routed foe
And the Luftwaffe knew we had nowhere to go.
The Dunkirk Pier, targeted by their bombs and shell,
Was not hit and through it all, stood up well.
Thousands embarked upon our larger ships,
While little boats beached, for the ‘skylark trips’.
Would the wind blow too strong? Please not, but if so, when?
For an ‘onshore’ wind would lose us many men.
The ‘Spanish Armada’ had been scattered by a gale,
But we didn’t lose our army; we didn’t fail.
Some hoped to bring thirty thousand across the wave,
But eleven times that number, did we save.
A triumph of discipline, determination.
We’d live to fight another day, this Nation!