The anchor from the Mona’s Queen III which lies at Kallow Point is a memorial to those who lost their lives in Operation Dynamo in May 1940. During the 1990’s word came to the Isle of Man that divers exploring wrecks off the French coast at Dunkirk had identified that of the Mona’s Queen III. They had established that one of her anchors had become detached from the wreck and therefore could be considered separate to the untouchable war grave.
Discussions were held about the possibility of bringing the anchor home to the Island and placing it as a memorial to the wartime service of the ships and men of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co., but in particular those lost at Dunkirk. Initially progress was slow until Captain Andrew Douglas and Captain Hamish Ross of Sea Breezes magazine took up the campaign. In 2008, through the good offices of the then Lt. Governor Admiral Sir Paul Haddacks and Captain Philip Stoner RN, British Deputy Defence Attache in Paris, meetings were held with the French authorities in Dunkirk. The very willing co-operation and hard work of our French friends, in particular Commander Denis Leprince (Comar Dunkerque), Patrick Dassonville (Chef de subdivision Phares et Balises), Dunkirk, the Dunkirk Diving Club, Eurodive and many others led to the successful recovery of the anchor. At a very moving ceremony held to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk on 29th May 2010, the Mona’s Queen anchor was lifted clear of the water.
A meeting of Manx seafarers and relatives of those who had been at Dunkirk was called to consider the best location for the memorial. The area at Kallow Point with its flat open ground, fine sea view and ease of access was considered the best site. It is also fitting that the memorial is within sight and hail of where many of the Steam Packet Company’s seafarers came from. This peaceful dignified location gives all those who visit the site a chance to think about those who lost their lives in those terrible days.
The memorial was opened with full honours in a dedication service on 29th May 2012, the 72nd anniversary of the loss of these three ships. The anchor is placed so that the shank points South East directly towards Dunkirk. Port St Mary residents are proud to act as custodians to this memorial. Information boards at the site explain the vital contribution of the Isle of Man to the Dunkirk evacuations, and the men who were lost are commemorated on the walls of the memorial.
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