10 May - German invasion of Belgium, France and Holland begins

23 May - British Government orders British forces to retreat to Dunkirk

29 May - Government announces Operation Dynamo

30 May - Ramsgate and Margate lifeboats set sail for Dunkirk

31 May - Margate lifeboat leaves Dunkirk for England, having played a courageous part in the evacuation

1 June - Ramsgate's lifeboat follows Margate lifeboat home, after 30 hours of hard, dangerous work

4 June - Operation Dynamo comes to an end. Churchill delivers his 'We will fight them on the beaches' speech, in which he described the evacuation as a miracle, but warned that 'wars are not won by evacuations'