Who’ll sing the anthems, who’ll tell the story?

Many years ago I went to see The Big Picnic and the words of the song “Only Remembered” stayed with me. Those lyrics often come back to me when I stop to think about the Skylark project.

Each annual Dunkirk parade brought a few less veteran faces and, reading the letters from the Dunkirk veterans that were held in Jamestown Parish Church, the importance of the story regarding the miracle of Dunkirk was highlighted in my mind.

The Dunkirk veterans “fading away like the stars in the morning”, so who would be left to tell the story?

When the people who lived through Operation Dynamo are no longer here to remind us of an important part of our history, then the little ships take on that role and, for us locally, that is Skylark IX.


But Skylark IX is not just about our history, it is about our present and it is about our future.

A little ship that rescued men from the shores of Dunkirk in 1940 is still working to rescue those in our society who feel abandoned, struggling in life, with mental health or struggling to find hope in a difficult world.

“Only the deeds when our journey is run – these shall pass onwards when we are forgotten”

These words are not just about those who fought for us, and those who continue to serve in our military, but can perhaps be used to describe all the amazing people who have played a part in the battle to save Skylark since 2010.

“Will the line hold, will it scatter and run?”

The volunteers, members of the community, the veterans, the Lord Lieutenancy, the local councillors, businesses, organisations, HLF, the trustees of Skylark IX Recovery Trust – so many who brought something to this project to ensure that the line will indeed hold and that the stories will indeed be told.

And what a story!

Her past is in itself inspiring and memorable, her present shows she is still making a difference to people’s lives and her future…….. well, what a story that is still to be written! I hope that when our Dunkirk veterans look upon us, they will see that their wishes have not been forgotten and nor will they.




Mary Burch BEM, Chair, Skylark IX Recovery Trust

Photos: Veterans Geoff Bryden (top) and Bryan Warren (bottom)

Filed under: News