Home Kent News The windows in the White Cliffs that played a part in Britain’s...

The windows in the White Cliffs that played a part in Britain’s greatest escape

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Original article from Kent Live

Halfway up the world famous White Cliffs of Dover are a huge set of windows.

They should be quite noticeable, given they are sandwiched right between the town's two other great landmarks – Dover Castle and the Port of Dover.

In fact, previously it would have been easiest to spot them from a ferry as it came into the harbour.

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But now they are more visible than ever to locals too, thanks to the new Marina Pier built in the Western Docks in 2019.

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And they make for quite a remarkable sight.

A stone and brick structure built right into the cliff itself, with massive windows looking out to sea.

But it turns out that their current use is rather disappointing.

The windows are between the castle and the port

They form part of Dover Castle's estate, and the team at English Heritage told MyDover the rooms behind the windows aren't part of the visitor experience.

In fact, they are now only used for equipment storage.

However, in the past they had a rather more interesting use.

One of the windows looked out from what was the office of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, the man who masterminded the Dunkirk Expedition in 1940, considered Britain's greatest military escape.

He also planned and commanded the naval forces in the invasion of France in 1944.

Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay was Commander-in-Chief, Dover

Ramsay left the navy in 1938, but was coaxed out of retirement by Winston Churchill to help deal with the Axis threat.

Promoted to vice-admiral, he was named Commander-in-Chief, Dover on August 24, 1939.

His duties included overseeing the defence against possible destroyer raids, the protection of cross-Channel military traffic and the denial of the passage through the Straits of Dover by submarines.

As Vice-Admiral Dover, Ramsay was responsible for the Dunkirk evacuation, codenamed Operation Dynamo.

Working from the tunnels beneath Dover Castle, he and his staff worked for nine days straight to rescue troops trapped in France by the German forces.

Helping to bring home 338,226 British and allied soldiers marooned on French, he was asked to personally report on the operation to King George VI and subsequently made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

After Dunkirk, Ramsay was faced with the similarly vast problem of defending the waters off Dover from the expected German invasion.

For nearly two years, he commanded forces striving to maintain control against the Germans.

Clearly then, his office was a place where important, history-defining decisions were made.

A place from where history itself was witnessed.

It's definitely something to think about the next time you look up at those windows.

Original Article