THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 



St Mary the Virgin, Cannon Street

INTERIOR WAR MEMORIALS

the church

Memorial Corner

view of Book of Remembrance and pilots' plaques

Below - St Mary's Book of Remembrance, dedicated on 11th November 1956, reprinted in 1993. The book rest was salvaged from the pulpit of the New St James during the War. It was restored from a battered condition and relaquered, as was also a lamp

The Cinque Ports Pilots Memorial (list of names)

pilots' memorial

"To the Memory of the Cinque Ports Pilots who gave their lives in the Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945"

pilots' service plaque

Cinque Ports Pilots Service Plaque 1834 - 1891

Book of Remembrance

St Mary's Book of Remembrance contents are here
right - an example of a page from the Book

page from Book of Remembrance
plaque on table

The plaque on the table reads, "To the Glory of God and in gratitude for the use of the St James' Old Church, from some of the Officers of the Royal Navy who worshipped there during the year 1918". The credence table was salvaged from the church when it was destroyed.

 

Netherlands Troops

To the Glory of God

and in grateful remembrance of generous hospitality bestowed on the Netherlands Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen during their stay in the United Kingdom, Annis Domini 1940 - 1947, this table was presented by the Protestant Churches of the Netherlands.

"I was a stranger and ye took me in"

Netherlands blue tiles plaque

 

The East Windows

Virgin Mary

Left is a detail from one of the windows, depicting the Virgin Mary. The previous windows were damaged during the Second World War, and were replaced subsequently. Particularly attractive are the painted images of Dover at the base of the windows.

The plaque to the right reads: "In memory of Arthur Stanley Cooper BSC, Honorary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, Rural Dean of Dover, Vicar of this parish 1943-1958. In years of war and reconstruction he served God in faithful devotion to the care of this parish, to the cause of Education, and to the welfare of this Town and Port of Dover. The East Windows were inspired by him."  

Cooper plaque
white cliffs

white cliffs -
right hand window

east windows

town hall

town hall -
left hand window

 

Air Sea Rescue Area

the area of Air-Sea memorabilia

Crest and Battle Honours of XXII Squadron, Royal Air Force, contained in a case in the area

crest and battle honours, 22 Squadron

The honours are: Western Front 1916-1918, Ypres 1917, Somme 1916, Hindenburg Line, Channel and North Sea 1939-41, Eastern Waters 1943-1945, Mediterranean 1942,  Burma 1944-1945

Beside the Crest and Honours is an explanatory notice, hand-written:

22 Squadron History

The Squadron was formed at Gosport on 1st September 1915 and after training joined the BEF in Europe, equipped with FE28 aircraft. After the Armistice the Squadron returned to England to disband at Croydon on 20th November 1919.

Reformed at Martlesham Heath on 24th July 1923, it operated from the UK until 1st May 1934, when it was disbanded and reformed at Donibristle on the same day with Wildebeeste Torpedo-bombers. From October 1935 until August 1936 the Squadron served in Malta and it was there that the Squadron was presented with its badge.

At the outbreak of war, 22 Squadron was stationed at Thorney Island, mostly occupied with training but with the odd search for submarines to break the monotony. In the winter of 1939-40, the Squadron, equipped with Beauforts and carried out maritime duties, mostly in the English Channel. Early in 1942 the Squadron was withdrawn from the front line to prepare for overseas service, having sunk 100,000 tons of enemy shipping and been awarded 1 VC, 5 DFCs, and 2 DFMs.

From 1942 until 1945, the Squadron carried out maritime and fighter-bomber duties in the Middle and Far East, finally disbanding at Gannvarum, India, after the Japanese surrender.

Reformed in 1955, 22 Squadron became a helicopter rescue unit, a role it continues to do with Wessex aircraft. The Awuadron has five detached flights around the country: "A" Flight at RAF Chivenor, North Devon, "B" Flight at RAF Leuchars, Fife, "C" Flight at RAF Valley, Anglesey, "D" Flight at RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire, and "E" Flight at RAF Manston.

*

Next to it is a framed notice, a transcription of introductory words from the Air-Sea Rescue and Marine Craft book, below, which reads:

By the time the Second World War was approaching its climax nearly one thousand Royal Air Force marine craft were deployed to some three hundred Units and Sections throughout the various theatres of war. And, the role of the four thousand RAF Sailors who commanded, crewed, and operated these craft was, in essence, to support allied aircraft and the aircrews who flew them. They did so in two ways. Those who served at the marine craft sections were committed to provide the direct support essential for the deployment and operation of flying boats, and thus for the effectiveness of maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. For the others, those who served at the Air Sea Rescue Units, the task was to rescue aircrew from the sea and thus to enable a very substantial number of pilots and crew who would otherwise have been lost to the allied cause to return to their squadron for further combat in the air.

In addition to their routine duties in Air Sea Rescue or flying boat support, RAF marine craft participated in all major amphibious operations from the evacuation of Dunkirk onwards; and at the D Day landings in Normandy one hundred and thirty six RAF rescue launches were deployed in the assault area. They also took part in a number of clandestine operations, particularly in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean and other overseas areas. By the end of the war many specific acts of bravery or outstanding devotion to duty had finally been recognised by Commendations and Awards to those who had served the RAF at sea.

(This foreword appears within the book also, with additional words after "RAF at sea" being "and this book provides a record of those who were so honoured. More especially, perhaps, it seeks to commemorate the wartime endeavours of those who belonged to what was later to become the marine Branch of the Royal Air Force.")

detail of window - boat and plane resucing airman in water by the white cliffs

commemorative plaque

Above - detail from the Air-Sea window.

Left - a plaque beneath the window, "This Memorial Window was dedicated in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Patron of this Church, on Thursday 10th July 1980."

The words on the window (not pictured) read, "In memory of all Ranks of the Allied Air Forces and Air-Sea Rescue and Marine Craft sections of the Royal Air Force who perished in the seas throughout the World during the Second World War"

   

In another case is a book (right) listing  awards made to Air-Sea Rescue and Marine Craft personnel. Transcription and further pictures here

dedicatory plaque

The case was donated by Mrs S Banks in memory of her husband Stan Banks, BEM, awarded for bravery at Dieppe, Aug 1942

example of page from commemorative book

   

air sea Rescue Club plaque

The words on the two plaques are right >

"The Sea Shall Not Have Them"

This plaque was presented to MY Robrina by the Air-Sea Rescue and Marine Craft Sections Club for the 25th Anniversary of the War-Time Raid on Dieppe (Operation Jubilee) 19th August 1942. MY Robrina, formerly a Royal Air Force High Speed Rescue Launch 186, which was based at Royal Air Force 27 Air-Sea Rescue Marine Craft Unit, Dover, Kent, took part in this Raid. Her duties were to patrol the English Channel close to the Dieppe Coast for the Allied Aircraft supporting the Commando Landings . HSL 186 was the only rescue launch to return to her base at Dover after this Raid, returning with two of her crew wounded.

Presented by Mr R R Forbes-Morgan,
Chairman 1956 - 67

   

A further notice contains this information:

Since 22 Squadron began the helicopter rescue role, up to January 1981 there have been 9506 scrambles providing assistance to 5586 people, and has received 99 awards for bravery, including 2 George Medals.

The colour laid up was presented to the Squadron at RAF St Maguan on 20th October 1960 by Air Marshal Sir Ralph Sorley, and was replaced by a new colour presented by Air Chief Marshal Sir David Evans on 12th Mar 1978 at RAF Finningley, where the current Squadron Headquarters are situated.

The Flight at Manston provided the colour party for the laying up ceremony, and was: Colour Bearer Flt Lt Murray Jones, Colour WO M ALM Mick Bush, and Colour Escorts F Sgt Alan Clapp and F Sgt Christ Whitehead.

 

South Africa Campaign and Seafarers' Window

There are also the memorial to those who died in the South Africa campaign (above), and the Seafarers' window (right). This bears the arms of the Royal, Merchant, and Dutch  Navies, Trinity House, the Southern Railway, and Cable Ships, which operated from the harbour. The ship is the SS Invicta, one of the railway-owned cross channel ferries.

The words read: "They that go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters; These men see the works of the Lord; and his wonders in the deep."

   

for names on the South Africa memorial, please see here (set 296/5)
there are also the memorial window and plaque for the 193 people who died in the "Herald of Free Enterprise" disaster on 6 March 1987
(for names listed on the plaque, please contact us, quoting set 172(1)/41)

photos: Simon John Chambers
with thanks to Rev David Ridley
 


Copyright 2007-13 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved