Today, 15th August, marks the 75th (+ 1) anniversary of the end of WW2 With victory in Japan having been achieved the war was finally over and the “forgotten” servicemen and women were all heading home.
For much of the war Poole was a quiet “under the radar” location. However, the town and harbour grew in importance and activity throughout the period. New Naval bases were established in the harbour and the Flying Boats maintained air links with the rest of the world.
The town provided a flotilla of boats to Dunkirk including the Thomas Kirk Wright which now resides in the Lifeboat museum on the Quay. It also provided a base for raiding parties across the channel as well as a practice location for the D Day landings, the building many of the landing craft in the town’s boat building yards and the port itself was the 3rd largest embarkation point for US Forces on D Day.
Behind the scenes the people of Poole worked in the local factories, gave up the iron railings etc and raised money for the war effort in general. The town, together with neighbouring towns, welcomed evacuees and dug for Britain as well as enduring bombing raids.
Information boards have been erected down the High Street and along the Quay since VE Day on May 8th with these and this event we hope to tell the fascinating story of Poole’s role during the period 1939-45.
I would like the thank our sponsors for the event, Sunseekers who have assisted in providing moorings for our special guests the Dunkirk Boats, the owners of the Dunkirk Small Ships Association who have travelled to be with us, as well as the owners of the military vehicles and vintage cars etc, The Royal British Legion and the organising committee who all have contributed to make this event happen.
Chairman The Society for Poole Ltd