Beam: 11ft 6ins?
Engine: Thornycroft 140hp
Advance was one of the first Little Ships to arrive at Dunkirk and was, unusually, skippered by her owner, C.P. Dick. He and his crew had left Teddington at 0730 on 28th May, arriving at Sheerness at 1330 and leaving for Dover at 1630 in company with eight other boats.
Having arrived at Dover at 0300 on 29th May Advance slipped at 0645 led by Viewfinder with Elizabeth Green, Bobeli, Hanora and later Reda. Approaching Dunkirk, the group were machine-gunned by two aircraft and Advance’s signal mast was carried away by the undercarriage of the second aircraft. At 1300 they started rescuing troops, ferrying them to various vessels offshore. At 2045 Advance and Elizabeth Green returned to Ramsgate having both suffered damage. Advance had to be beached on arrival at 0530 to prevent her sinking. C.P. Dick and crew member E.H. Piercy were paid ?10 and given an official letter recording their brave participation in this operation.
Here the story takes a strange turn. 48 hours later, whilst waiting for the Advance to be repaired, both Piercy and Dick were detained by the police under Defence Regulation 18B (which allowed the internment of British citizens without charge or trial if they were deemed to be of unsound loyalty to this country). Their offence was that they had both been members of Oswald Mosley's Blackshirt party. They were released 90 days later.
Advance made one more trip to Dunkirk with S/Lt P. Snow RN as skipper on 2nd and 3rd June.
As of April 2018, no further information concerning this historic vessel has been received. We would invite persons with knowledge of her history and whereabouts to contact the Association.
Updated April 2018