Brat spat: did SA’s oldest yacht really rescue soldiers from ...

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Brat spat: did SA’s oldest yacht really rescue soldiers from Dunkirk?

Despite doubts cast by UK historical association, owner is adamant the vessel he’s restoring is a World War 2 heroine

Senior reporter

A 107-year-old classic yacht said to have rescued soldiers from the beach at Dunkirk has “washed up” in a vineyard overlooking Hout Bay — rescued by a SA businessman. She is SA’s oldest known yacht.

But the 11.5m Brat of Dunkirk isn’t out of the firing line just yet. A British historical association has questioned the yacht’s claim to fame, casting doubt over whether she ever sailed to French seaport Dunkirk, where Allied soldiers were rescued from advancing German troops during the early days of World War 2. 

Despite her name, the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS) says Brat of Dunkirk is not on the “official” register of the hundreds of small boats that rushed to Dunkirk in May 1940 to pluck about 300,000 soldiers off the beach and ferry them across the English Channel...

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