war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I and World War II


(including adding names to the Memorial - see below)

wreaths, Remembrance 2006, by Simon ChambersThe Dover Town Memorial outside Maison Dieu House does not represent all the casualties from Dover.

Great War Casualties

The overwhelming majority of the names on the Memorial are from the Great War. Even so, these represent only around 80% of those Dovorian service men recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to have died in that war. There are many more who died yet were not noted by the CWGC as having Dover connections, simply because the next of kin had moved, or did not return the registration form (my own two great uncles are in this latter  category, though the family itself has been in Dover since the 1500s).

There are number of reasons for exclusion of Great War casualties from the Memorial, including:. 

  • The person may have been a woman. They were not included, even if they died while on service.

  • The person may have been a civilian. They were not included, nor recorded by the CWGC.

  • The person may have died from disease after the war. Some were included; others, whose illnesses could well have been attributable to service (for example disability through wounds or gas attacks), were not, as they survived for some years afterwards.

  • The committee decided that a particular person was not eligible, on any one of several criteria (see also William Alfred Dixon, on this page)

  • person's next of kin may not have asked for the name to be included on the memorial. This could happen for a number of reasons, including:

    • they had moved away

    • they had themselves died

    • a widow had remarried

    • they still believed the loved one would return

    • they did not accept memorialisation

    • the casualty was named on another parish memorial in Dover (though many are named on both town and parish)

    • they simply hadn't known that names were being requested

Research with the Dover War Memorial Project continues to identify those Dovorian Great War casualties not named on the Memorial, including civilians, and not noted as Dovorians by the CWGC. It will also record those named on other memorials in the Dover area.

flags, Remembrance 2006, by Simon Chambers

Those included on the Town War Memorial need not have been either resident or born in the town of Dover, nor need they have died on active war service. There are a number with previous service records, but who died through subsequent illness or by accident, while others are connected to the town through relatives (but not necessarily legal next-of-kin). Some were educated here, from families resident elsewhere. There are further notes here

World War II Casualties

There is one small panel at the rear of the Memorial that contains the names of twenty one service people who died. There are a couple of Great War casualties; the remainder are from World War II. This panel was added to the Memorial in 2000, and the names were included by individual request.

The casualties of Dover from the Second World War were recorded in a Book of Remembrance, now kept at the Dover Museum. There are nearly 500 casualties, and they include civilians and others who died at home. The list of names may be seen here and the Book itself may be seen by appointment with the Museum.  Again, there will be some people known to have lost their lives who for various reasons may not be included.

Adding Names to the Memorial and Two New Plaques

In 2005 the care of the Memorial passed from the District Council to the Town Council. Furthermore, owing to the Dover War Memorial Project, a number of enquiries have since been received as to how a name may be added to the Town Memorial. The combination of these two factors led, by request of The Dover War Memorial Project, to a request to the Town Council and a resolution passed by them in 2006 that the Memorial would be updated every three years (municipal year 2005/2006, minute number 651B "That the updating of names on the War Memorial to be considered every 3 years by the Town Council;").

On 13th March 2007 the Dover War Memorial Project submitted to the meeting of the Town and Environment Committee of the Town Council a list of fifteen names for inclusion on the Memorial, along with much further information on each casualty. The Committee reiterated that the Memorial will be updated every three years. This is the relevant minute from that Committee meeting:

629: War Memorial Gardens.
The Committee noted the current situation regarding the War Memorial and Gardens.
The Committee considered Ms Stephenson-Knight's report of 3rd March 2007, regarding a request for names to be included on the Town's Memorial.
Resolved: That a letter of thanks be send to Ms Stephenson-Knight for the research made into the names to be included on the Town's Memorial, and to advise her that these will be put forward for consideration in March 2009 in accordance with the municipal year 205/06 minute number 651B.

The Dover War Memorial Project therefore kept and maintained for resubmission the list of those casualties whose relatives have requested their names should be added, along with all pertinent information.  This list, by then 22 names, was resubmitted at the beginning of 2009. The Town Council updated the War Memorial with a plaque featuring those names, which plaque was dedicated on Armistice Day, 11 November 2009. .

In accordance with the Town Council resolution, the next update was scheduled for 2012. On 5 September 2012 the Town Council resolved that a final plaque of 21 names  be added to the Memorial, and that the Memorial also be rededicated to include Dovorians who have died in all conflicts. This rededication and update occurred on 29 June 2013.

This website is Dover's Virtual Memorial, complementary and supplementary to our town memorials. It was created with love, in Remembrance of those we lost from our town, and will available forever, as it is archived regularly by the British Library. If you wish your loved Dovorian to be commemorated on Dover's Virtual Memorial, please tell us. It is our humble pleasure to honour your loved one and to help ensure that she or he is never forgotten.

  Field of Remembrance, by Simon Chambers

Copyright 2006-13 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved