"We Remember" Booklet 2006
18 August 1914 Corporal F.J.P. Geard was the first of a too long
list of Dovorians to die in World War I. 22-year-old Frederick,
who lived with his parents at Lascelles Road, Maxton, was an
observer with the 5th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. His plane
crashed near Peronne, France, while returning from a
unknown, but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorates
around 1,000 inhabitants of Dover killed in the Great War. 135
Dovorians died in Belgium, mostly near Ypres. The names of no
fewer than 48 Dovorians are inscribed on the Menin Gate at Ypres
and 32 others feature on the nearby Ploegsteert and Tyne Cot
Memorials to the Missing.
Menin Gate is the focus of all “commemorative activities”
Flanders. The site of the gate is highly symbolic: through this
gap in the Ypres ramparts, many soldiers left the ruined town
for the trenches. The Gate was unveiled in 1927 and another
“monument”, was added the following year. Every night at 8pm,
accompanied by hundreds of silent bystanders, two to seven
buglers assemble under the Gate and blow the Last Post. In all
its simplicity, this unique ceremony can be appreciated by all.
There is one common purpose: remembering the Fallen.
The Last Post at
the Menin Gate is the most important but far from the only act
of remembrance in Ypres. The “In Flanders Fields” Museum in the
reconstructed mediaeval Cloth Hall, shares a common purpose with
the War Memorial Project of Dover, i.e. “putting a face on a
Those who died in
World War 1 were real people, leading a real life. Learning to
know the individual hidden behind a name, is learning to
understand the impact war - in this case World War I- has had on
ordinary people’s lives. A more personal approach helps to
appreciate those who have given their lives for our future. It
helps us to revalue the importance of peace and democracy.
Hence, remembering is working on the future.
“In Flanders Fields” Museum, Ypres, Belgium