RNLB Guide of Dunkirk (ON 826)
|Owner:||Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)|
|Builder:||Rowhedge Iron Works|
|Official Number:||ON 826|
|Renamed:||Guide of Dunkirk; Girl Guide|
|Length:||35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)|
|Beam:||9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)|
|Draft:||2 ft 9 in (0.84 m)|
RNLB Guide of Dunkirk (ON 826) was a lifeboat whose construction was funded by the Girl Guides in 1940. She was self-righting and designed for launching 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 in Cornwall, UK as a lifeboat. In 1963 she passed into private ownership.
The £5,000 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 near Colchester, UK, and was unnamed when she was called into service straight from the builder's yard for the Dunkirk evacuation on 1 June 1940. She had the designation ON 826.
On her first trip, she was used to ferry soldiers off the beaches to larger ships waiting offshore. She was badly damaged by machine gun fire and a rope became wrapped around her propeller. She was towed back to England stern first.
On her second trip, she was hit by shellfire and extensively damaged.
In 1963, the Cadgwith lifeboat station was closed and the Guide of Dunkirk was sold into the private ownership of John Moor and renamed her Girl Guide.
The boat is now ashore in Mevagissey, Cornwall and has remained in her original condition as when she left RNLI service.
- "Dunkirk Little Ship: Guide of Dunkirk now Girl Guide". The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. Retrieved 2006-10-12.
- Forbes, Cynthia. 1910... and then?.