BMMHS Zoom Evening Talk: The Dover Patrol

Speaker: Robin Brodhurst

The Dover Patrol

This BMMHS Zoom Talk is scheduled to start at 7:30pm

The Dover Patrol WW1

This talk takes as its start-point what we probably all learned at school: the Dover Patrol is synonymous with the Zeebrugge Raid, glorious bravery by the Royal Navy and a great success. It then goes back to its origins, the men who commanded it and those who served in it along with their vessels. What were they trying to do, how did they do it and were they successful? It deals with the three commanders, some Kipling poetry, a destroyer built out of two different halves, and of course the Zeebrugge Raid – that failure that became a monument to one man’s determination to secure his place in history, Roger Keyes, and the remarkable bravery of those marines and bluejackets who tried to storm the mole and the lock gates.

Zeebrugge Raid Map
THE ZEEBRUGGE RAID, 22-23 APRIL 1918 (Q 36379) Sketch plan of the general layout of the mole at Zeebrugge including German defences. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
Zeebrugge Raid
THE ZEEBRUGGE RAID, 23-24 APRIL 1918 (Q 49164) Oblique aerial photograph of the British blockships HMS THETIS, HMS INTREPID and HMS IPHIGENIA in the mouth of the Bruge Canal at Zeebrugge. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
Zeebrugge Raid
The 'Vindictive' at Zeebrugge: The storming of Zeebrugge Mole (Art.IWM ART 871) image: A high stone sea-defence wall ('mole') on the left borders a choppy sea. In the centre of the painting lies a cruiser, flying the British naval ensign. The vessel lies up against the mole and is seen from the stern where a Lewis gun is mounted. A file of armed figures climbs up a gangway from the cruiser's deck to the top of the mole, silhouetted against glowing clouds of smoke. To the righ... Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
Zeebrugge Raid
THE ZEEBRUGGE RAID, 23-24 APRIL 1918 (Q 55568) HMS VINDICTIVE after returning to Dover following the Zeebrugge Raid, showing one of the two 7.5-inch howitzers and Stokes mortars specially fitted out for the raid to provide fire support for the landing parties in the planned assault on the German gun battery at the seaward end of the mole at Zeebrugge. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
Zeebrugge Raid
Vice-Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, KCB, CMG, CVO, DSO : 1918 (Art.IWM ART 1324) image: A three quarter-length portrait of Keyes in full uniform. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

About the Speaker - Robin Brodhurst

Robin Brodhurst was educated at Marlborough College, RMA Sandhurst, Goldsmiths’ College, London and Cambridge Universities. He served for 6 years as an officer in the Royal Green Jackets, and then, after university as a mature student, became a History teacher, ending as Head of History for 22 years at Pangbourne College.

He has published Churchill’s Anchor, a biography of Dudley Pound, and edited The Bramall Papers. He is working on editing a collection of his grandfather’s correspondence with Sir Donald Bradman as well as a volume of documents on Anglo-American Naval Relations between 1939 and 1941. He is a keen cricketer and jazz enthusiast and lives in Newbury.

Robin Brodhurst
Robin Brodhurst

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