Museum approved to honour Dunkirk ‘mastermind’

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He was the modest man who was behind some of the most important moments in British military history.

Now plans have been approved for a museum at the family home of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who was behind the evacuation of Dunkirk in June 1940.

Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay was behind the organisation of  both Dunkirk and D-Day.
Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay was behind the organisation of both Dunkirk and D-Day.

But he was brought out of retirement in the summer of 1940 and charged with organising the evacuation from Dunkirk, for which he received a knighthood.

Born in London in 1883, Ramsay ascended the ranks of the Royal Navy before retiring as a vice-admiral in 1938.

A former garden store will be converted at Bughtrig House in Coldstream, Berwickshire, to commemorate his life and many achievements.

Operation Dynamo, as it was known, saw the rescue of over 338,000 Allied soldiers from the northern French beaches, an achievement that Winston Churchill hailed as ‘a miracle of deliverance’.

Ramsay was later appointed naval commander-in-chief of Operation Overlord, the plan for the Allied invasion of Normandy.

Under his authority, ships carrying nearly 160,000 troops landed on the French coast in June 1944. After the invasion successfully established the Western Front, Ramsay was made an admiral.

The following January, before the Allied victory, Ramsay was killed in a plane crash, which, along with his self-effacing nature, may have contributed to his post-war obscurity.

A report by the Scottish Borders Council said the museum could raise his profile, as well as attracting visitors interested in the area’s military connections.

The house at Bughtrig, acquired by Ramsay in 1938, is just outside the town also known as the home of the Coldstream Guards.

This article was published in the April 2020 issue of Military History Matters. To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

1 Comment

  1. Not much said on the RN side of the evacuation so looking forward to see what was said of Admiral Ramsay

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