Navy veteran helps crew charity voyage by Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’

Navy veteran helps crew charity voyage by Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’

by Henry James (June 2022)

A MAN from Skelmersdale was a crew member of a special voyage by one one of Dunkirk’s ‘Little Ships’ to raise money for veterans.

Tom Morrison, chairman of the Skelmersdale Royal Naval Association, was one of the crew of the Estrallita which set off from Norfolk in mid May and then travelled along the south coast.

The voyage was held to raise money for SSAFA - The Armed Forces Charity and the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital in Norwich.

The Estrallita was commandeered in May 28, 1940 sailed from Poole Harbour and then requisitioned on June 1, 1940 to take part in the evacuation from Dunkirk.

Tom was joined in the voyage by Estrallita’s owner Tony Billson, and Michael ‘Jack’ Hawkins.

Tom said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to make it to Plymouth due to the price of fuel, and because of the change in the weather.

“We did manage to get to the Dunkirk plaque unveiling at Portsmouth point and laid a wreath at the plaque in memory of the fallen.

“The trip has not been without its setbacks as we needed assistance from the RNLI shortly after leaving Poole destined for Lymington.

“We suffered steering failure and needed to be towed by the RNLI into Yarmouth harbour on the Isle of Wight.

“We managed to fix the problem the day after and were on our way again shortly after.”

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