Following the film opening of 'Dunkirk' in UK cinemas on 21 July , the London Fire Brigade Museum is hosting an exclusive exhibition about the Massey Shaw fireboat and the 'Little Ships'. Visitors are invited to learn about her role in rescuing soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War through a display of special artefacts, previously unseen photographs and rare film footage.
In May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force and both French and Belgian forces were trapped on the beaches surrounding Dunkirk. Hindering these efforts were huge fires in the oil refineries alongside Dunkirk harbour. London Fire Brigade (LFB) were approached for assistance and our Massey Shaw fireboat was dispatched to France with an enhanced crew of both LFB and Auxiliary Fire Service staff.
Although the fire boat was not used for firefighting, she assisted in a major operation to evacuate troops known as 'Operation Dynamo'. The operation led to the rescue of both sailors and soldiers from a sinking French warship. On their return to London, the Massey Shaw and her crew received a hero's welcome.
Museum visitors will also have the unique opportunity to experience 'operation Dynamo' with dynamic storytelling performances.