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Operation Dynamo anniversary service to be held

A service will take place today at the Allied Beach Memorial inDunkirk to mark the historic mission to rescue thousands of troops during the Second World War.

Veterans of Operation Dynamo - the code name for the mass evacuation of British, French and Belgian troops - will gather near the beach at Dunkirk to remember the harrowing events of 1940.

Later today the veterans will be joined by servicemen and women for a parade of military vehicles and bands through the streets of the French port town.

The commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuations - one of the pivotal moments in the war - began in earnest on Thursday when around 50 "little ships", the small vessels responsible for saving so many men from the beaches, recreated their famous journey across the English Channel.

Veterans return to Dunkirk 75 years on Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Yesterday a handful of veterans gathered at the British Memorial at the Dunkirk Military Cemetery for a service of remembrance.

Leading the service, Royal Navy chaplain Gordon Warren said: "This Dunkirk war grave cemetery is designated by the French authorities as British soil, its silent stones witnessing to the thousands who were unable to be evacuated by the little ships."

The commemorations will continue tomorrow when a memorial plaque will be unveiled at the site of the MV Crested Eagle, a paddle steamer which was attacked and sank with 300 soldiers on board.

There will also be a commemorative service for the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships on the quayside in Dunkirk next to the little ships themselves.

In late May and early June of 1940, between 300,000 and 400,000 British, French and Belgian troops were evacuated from the beaches as they fled the relentless German advance towards the coast.

The daring rescue was an overwhelming success but there were also around 90,000 left dead, wounded or taken prisoner.

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