Dunkirk 80th Anniversary and Four Facts You May Not Know

The 2020 Dunkirk Anniversary Gold Quarter Sovereign

This year marks the 80th Anniversary of Dunkirk Evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo; the evacuation of Allied soldiers during World War II from the beaches of Dunkirk.

The operation commenced after large numbers of British, Belgian and French troops were stopped and surrounded by German troops during the six-week Battle of France. The rescue and evacuation lasted almost two weeks between 26th May and 4th June 1940.

Gold Quarter Sovereign

To mark this occasion, we’d like to introduce the 2020 Dunkirk 80th Anniversary Gold Quarter Sovereign, the world’s first quarter sovereign with a sandblasted finish using sand from the beaches of Dunkirk.

The coin features a design that pays tribute to the MV Royal Daffodil, a passenger vessel that undertook no fewer than seven trips to the beaches of Dunkirk, and rescued up to 9,500 troops. She is now proudly commemorated with a plaque that reads, a ‘Dunkirk Little Ship’.

This commemorative coin has a mintage of just 3,999, and has been given our new ‘sell-out guarantee’ status. This means that the availability of this coin will end on 31st October 2020, and any unsold coins will be melted down and verified.

Four Facts About Dunkirk

Here are four facts you may not know about Dunkirk, the evacuations and Operation Dynamo.

Not all evacuations were from the beaches. Of the 338,000 soldiers evacuated at Dunkirk, only a third of them were actually rescued from the beaches. Most men were in fact evacuated from the ‘Mole’; a stone jetty that extended along the harbour. The deep water meant that large ships could moor up and load soldiers very quickly, despite many ships being sunk here by bombs from German dive-bombers, as it was a much more open area for attacks.

Not all ‘Little Ships’ were little. More than 700 private vessels set sail to Dunkirk as part of Operation Dynamo. The fleet was aptly named ‘Little Ships’, however, this actually included some much larger ships including those from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. This company’s ships alone rescued more than 26,000 soldiers from Dunkirk, and most were lucky enough to make it back, while many of the Little Ships were lost with their wrecks visible today on the Beaches of Dunkirk.

The RAF were in the skies above the Dunkirk Beaches. Many soldiers believed that the RAF had been pulled back to Britain to defend the mainland, leaving them abandoned and alone. However, research shows that RAF squadrons were active over Dunkirk at the time of the evacuations, giving cover to men on the ground, and attacking the German’s Line of Communication.

It is uncertain how many British Soldiers died at Dunkirk. In 1940, the War Office stated that 2,972 officers and 66,008 men were killed, wounded or missing from 10th May 1940, to the last day of the Dunkirk evacuation on 4th June 1940. It was however not known when many of these men died, or if their deaths had occurred at Dunkirk. This came after the British Army retreated and many soldiers go separated from their units.


You can purchase the 2020 Dunkirk 80th Anniversary Gold Quarter Sovereign HERE for the introductory price of £99 (plus £4.99 postage and packaging).

If you’d like to enquire about any other coins in the Dunkirk 80th Anniversary Gold Sovereign range, then please call 0333 234 3103.