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ENDEAVOUR: Pro Gallery


Type:  Cockle Bawley
Length:  34ft
Beam:  12ft
Draft:  3ft 6ins
Displacement:  11.78 tons
Engine:  Ford 80hp
Construction:  Carvel, pitch pine on oak
Builder:  Cole & Wiggins
Year:  1926

Endeavour, with skipper F. Hall, was one of the little fleet of Leigh Cockle Bawley boats that set out in convoy at half past midnight on 31st May 1940 for Dunkirk. They went under engine power that night in order to keep in convoy under command of their Naval Lieutenant. They were soon attacked from the air, but the Royal Air Force provided cover for them.

The Endeavour played her full part; -first in embarking soldiers from the beach and then, as the tide went out and threatened to strand them, from the Mole and finally from the inner harbour of Dunkirk.

Her rudder was smashed during the rescue operations and, together with Letitia and Renown, she was towed back by the coaster Ben & Lucy which had been ferrying troops from the beaches all the previous day before working almost exclusively with the cockle boats.

Unlike the ill-fated Renown, the Endeavour got back to Ramsgate safely with her load of soldiers, to be congratulated for her valiant efforts. After the war Endeavour went fishing on the South coast of England and changed owners several times. In 1986 she won two prizes in a trawler race, with a fancy dress competition for her crew.

A year later she sank in the great storms of 1987, when tied up at Thunderbolt pier off Chatham Historic Dockyard. The Nautilus Diving Club, with Thames-side sub-aqua divers and some huge inflatable bags, raised her in a two-day exercise which began at midnight. It was all done free and for the love of a great old boat.

Although she was saved a lot of work was necessary to put her right and she remained at Chatham Historic Dockyard for some years, but due to reorganisation they required her to be moved. She was taken over by the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust and moved to Beacon Boatyard on the Medway. Subsequently bought from them by private owners determined to restore her to her original glory she is now owned by a trust keen to keep her in good condition and proud of her history. Fully restored and now kept at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, she is an active member of the Association.


She featured in the set of (2015) Palau postage stamps 'The Little Ships of Dunkirk' and also the film Dunkirk (2017).

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