High up in Mountjoy Cemetery in Newport is a poignant memorial to Captain William Trowbridge of the MV Bee and his crew, who rescued more than four hundred allied soldiers at Dunkirk.

Capt Trowbridge’s crew included mate Harry Downer, engineer and First World War veteran Fred Reynard, and Marc Hocking, who was just 18.

Scroll through our gallery of pictures above to see more...

Isle of Wight County Press:

The memorial stone to Captain Trowbridge and his crew in Mountjoy Cemetery.

On May 29, 2010 — 70 years to the day that the motor vessel Bee arrived at Dunkirk — the memorial at Mountjoy was unveiled and blessed by the then Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, The Venerable Caroline Baston.

Among those in attendance was writer Michael Wills, who has captured the story of MV Bee and her crew on his website: iowtodunkirk.com

Capt Trowbridge was Michael’s great uncle - Michael was born in his house and lived there during the war years.

Also attending was the memorial stone unveiling was Mrs Hocking, the widow of crew member Marc Hocking, who died the late 1960s, and her son.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The unveiling in May 2010. From left, Alan Remnant, Stan Hider, Reg Hunt, Don Bridges, Ivor Millard, David Williams, Capt Trowbridge's nephew Michael Wills, Caroline Baston, Gladys Hocking, the wife of one of the crewmen and her son Alan Hocking. Picture: IWCP archive.

The honour guard at the unveiling was from the British Legion and also included the deputy chairman of the Isle of Wight Council at the time.

On his website, Michael has gathered a fascinating selection of information and images about the MV Bee and her crew, including a first-hand account of the carnage at Dunkirk by the ship's engineer, Fred Reynard.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Some of the crew of the Bee, from left, Fred Reynard, William (aka Bill) Trowbridge, Harry Downer and his son, Ernest, whose nickname was ‘Muddy’ Downer. Marc Hocking,18, is not pictured but was the other crew member. Picture: Michael Wills.

On his website, Michael also tells of the other five Isle of Wight motor cargo vessels which joined the MV Bee in Dunkirk - these were the Bat, the Hound, the MFH, the Chamois, the Murius. Remarkably they all survived Dunkirk.

You can read more about the MV Bee and her crew at Dunkirk by visiting Michael's website on: iowtodunkirk.com

Like reading tales of Isle of Wight life in years gone by? Click here to read more.