The Medway Queen is home


Dozens of sailors turned out to welcome home a ship that rescued thousands of soldiers from the Dunkirk beaches during World War II.

The historic Medway Queen arrived in Gillingham, Kent 28 years after a preservation society was set up to restore her.

People waved flags and cheered as the paddle steamer docked at Gillingham Pier after being towed there from Bristol, where she has spent the past five years being restored.The famous vessel was one of the first to arrive at Dunkirk but one of the last to leave on June 4 1940, making seven crossings and rescuing over 7,000 Allied soldiers.

The Medway Queen return home will see the next stage of her total restoration. The return of the famous paddle steamer to Gillingham will no doubt provide a massive boost to the town.

The painting of the famous paddler was created by Yachting Monthly artist, Martyn Mackrill, who captured her just before her restoration programme started while she lay on the River Medina, in the Isle of Wight.