war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper


Dovorians - Roll of Honour

Newly begun - a page for those Dovorians who served at home and abroad and returned. This includes those who kept the home fires burning.* We're proud of you.

Let us know if you'd like your hero or heroine included here.

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Privates Banks and Rolfe were welcomed home in February 1901 at the Assembly Rooms in Biggin Street by the St John's Ambulance Brigade. Private Tantrum of the Metropolitan Corps was also welcomed. 15/2/01



men 1915, courtesy David Borrett,

Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, and Sergeants, 2/4th battalion The Buffs, all from Dover
Top Row: Sgt W H Dyer, Sgt F Carter, Sgt J Colthup, Sgt D B Borrett, Sgt J J McKeen, Sgt J J S Gillespie,
Sgt F Oates, Sgt W A H Marsh
Middle Row: CQMS A Wisdom, CSM J W Buckley, RSM T Holloway, CSM W J Byrne, Sgt W Kemp
Bottom Row: Sgt B Nolan, Sgt G Hogben, Sgt F Buzan, Sgt N V Sutton, Sgt A Bourner

Sgt John Henry Colthup lived at River and became a repatriated POW. Married, he lived at Tonbridge. He was captured 21 March 1918, and demobbed 16 March 1919, when he lived at 99 Quarry Hill, Tonbridge

Sgt Daniel Bernard Borett was a clerk, from Charlton, Dover, born in 1892 and aged 22 when he enlisted. He served in the East Lancs Regiment and in The Buffs, under numbers 208892 and 2972, Corporal 2/4, He lived at 8 Granville Street when he was demobbed on 4 March 1919, and his next-of-kin, his father, Bernard George Borrett, at 39(?) Balfour Road, Dover

Photo of Warrant Officers published in Dover Express and East Kent News on Friday 22 October 1915, from collection of David Borrett

Harry Beck sent this postcard to his sweetheart, Elsie Victoria Brown, who lived at 7 George Street, Buckland, Dover.

It reads, "Dear Elsie, I have arrived in France and I will write you a letter as soon as I get settled down. Yours sincerely, Harry".

Harry arrived home safely from the Front, and the couple married on Christmas Day 1923 at St Andrew's Church, Buckland, Dover. The son of Arthur and Ruth Beck from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, Harry was then a Corporal in the Worcestershire Regiment. Walter, his brother, serving in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, was his best man. Miss Brown wore a crepe de chine ivory dress and was attended by three bridesmaids. The couple took their honeymoon in Worcestershire after a reception at River Hall.

Although he had survived the Great War, Harry Beck died aged 38 on 8 September 1926 at the Millbank Military Hospital, London, "after much suffering". He was by then a Sergeant after 20 years and 10 months service; he had begun his military career with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Regiment as number 8086, then became 75189 with the Worcestershire Regiment, and finally 5242637. He was buried at St Andrew's on 13 September. Mrs Beck probably died in 1980, having been born on 13 March 1897.

Note: Harry's mother died in 1894 at the age of 28. His father remarried the same year to Harriet Hilliard.

Henry Boucher Coombe, the son of Ernest Boucher Coombe, on the town memorial, was born in July 1900. In civilian life a baker, he was deemed to have enlisted in Canterbury on 19 July 1918, and was called for service on 27 July 1918. He would have preferred the Army Service Corps or the Royal Field Artillery, but was sent to the 51st battalion of the Rifle Brigade, as 62162. He was posted on 31 August 1918, and discharged on 3 April 1920.

His next of kin was his brother, Harold Fred, and then his foster mother, Mrs Verrier, of 24 Stone Hall, Lydden, and later 8 Heathfield Avenue, Dover. . .

Charles William Cloke. He died after a short illness on Sunday 19 June 1921 at 2 Seaview Terrace, Bunker's Hill. He was 37, and the husband of Mabel Cloke, who later became Mrs Jarvis. He was buried in 3J 26 at Charlton on 25th June. 

He had served throughout the Great War in the Machine Gun Corps, and had also served in The Buffs.

"Goodnight dear, until the day break. At rest" - inscription on his headstone.

J T Sheehy, an ex-Guardsman was blinded in the Great War. He died on 21 May 1939,aged 61. He had been well-known at the Dover Branch of the British Legion  ref 132/57

Capt C T Wilson, holder of the DSC for mine-laying with the Dover Patrol off the Belgian coast in 1917, died on 30 May 1939, aged 58  ref 132/57


Thomas Laws, courtesy Sally BeedonThomas John Laws was born on 19 November 1916. From Union Road, he left with his case to join the army on 21 November leaving for the army, courtesy Sally Beedon1934. Serving in the Buffs and originally stationed at Canterbury, he was shot in El Alamein, and returned to a hospital at Leatherhead. He then lodged with his parents at 2 McDonald Road, in Dover, before staying with his sister and her husband (Dick and Dorothy Fisher) at Prioress Walk. They were bombed out on 20th March 1944, and went to live temporarily opposite the Buckland Hospital in Union Road (now Coombe Valley Road).

On 19 April 1952 he married Winifred Mary Manuel, and they had one child, Sally Ann, born on 25 January 1963. He died on 13 November 1975. 

with thanks to Sally Beedon

Thomas was first cousin to Elizabeth, wife of William A H Marsh (also see Warrant Officers image above)

Fred Gurnsey, with thanks to Paul Willis

Frederick Gurnsey was born on 17 February 1917. His survived three perilous weeks before arriving in Ceylon after his Escape from Singapore, February 1942

with thanks to Paul Willis

HMS Lynx, Dover

courtesy Richard Stanley



With the Duchess of Kent, second from right on front row





Dover - Gertrude Whitehead is in the back row, third from right




pictures courtesy Richard Stanley

John William Adams
From Ilford in Essex and four feet nine1/2 inches tall, he served as a bandsman (stretcher-bearer) with the Dorsetshire Regiment under 5722597, and was Mentioned in Dispatches when he and a colleague recovered a comrade under fire in the field. He had joined up on 20 April 1926 in Warley at the age of 15 years and six months, and passed as a stretcher bearer in Dover on 29 November 1934. He saw service in Malta, Egypt, Palestine, and India. He married in Dover in 1937 when stationed at the Grand Shaft barracks







images courtesy Pat Adams

Phoebe Phillips
A certificate was issued to Phoebe Phillips: "The Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes has directed that this memorial be presented to Phoebe Phillips as a formal testament to the endurance, courage, and devotion with which, under exceptional conditions of strain, hardship, and danger, she unfailingly performed her duties to the corporation in its task of serving His Majesty's forces in the Dover area during the period of intensive bombardment by the guns of the enemy across the channel following the invasion of North West Europe by the Allies in June 1944." The certificate is signed by the Secretary.
image available - information with thanks to John Bastock

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*Note: Lena Ford, who wrote in 1914 the words to the well-known patriotic song of the Great War, of which the chorus is "Keep the Home Fires Burning", became a civilian casualty. On 7 March 1918, while living at Maida Vale, she and her son Walter were killed by a bomb which fell on Warrington Crescent during a raid on London. 

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