The Forgotten Architect of Dunkirk and D-Day

7th March 2014 in Archives Centre, News and Events

A symposium to commemorate Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay.

The Churchill Archives Centre is proud to hold the personal papers of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay (1883-1945), the naval leader responsible for organising the Dunkirk evacuation (Operation Dynamo) and the naval aspect of the D-Day landings (Operation Neptune). Ramsay’s tragic death in an aeroplane accident in 1945 prevented him from contributing to the analysis and history of these great events. Now, as we approach the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy landings, and with the imminent publication of a biography of Ramsay by Dr Andrew Gordon, it seemed appropriate to revisit his contribution with his papers as a backdrop.

The symposium featured two panels, one on Dunkirk and one on D-Day, with a key note presentation by Dr Andrew Gordon. Panellists included: Correlli Barnett; Robin Brodhurst; Michael Clapp; Professor Richard Harding; Rear Admiral Richard Hill; Fanny Hugill, who served as one of the "Ramsay Wrens" during the Second World War, and was on duty when Operation Neptune was launched; Professor Paul Kennedy; Professor Andrew Lambert; Major General Charles Ramsay; David Ramsay; and Major General Julian Thompson.

Event programme

Watch the Keynote and panel discussions

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Photograph: Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay taken at his London Headquarters in October 1943. © IWM (A 23440)