war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper




About the Project

"ABOUT MYSELF" by Simon John Chambers

Simon Chambers, by Marilyn Stephenson-Knight

By nature I am mechanically-minded and love nothing more than tinkering with pieces of wood and metal. I love creating from base stock a finished product I can touch and feel and look at. My most recent project has been the total restoration of a 1951 Lea-Francis wooden-bodied estate car. Itís now fully on the road after more than thirty years of neglect in a forgotten corner of a scrapyard.  

But the Dover War Memorial Project brings together all my skills. My many years working in BBC television stand me in good stead as photographer and researcher for the Project. Organisational thoroughness and an eye for the smallest detail are essential when there are thousands of pieces of information to identify, sort, catalogue, and file. There is a gentler side too. Meeting the relatives of many of the casualties has helped me understand the enormity of the loss, even several generations later. We are remembering the past and giving it a future, and this can do nothing but enrich and deepen the lives of all those this Project has touched. It will go on touching them for many years to come.

On a personal note, I have now caught the genealogy bug myself, and am already back to 1800 and deepest Cornwall with my own family tree. In July 2006 I discovered one of my own great uncles, Frederick Baker, died of wounds in the Great War, and I was able to visit his grave at the hospital cemetery Etaples, France. Perhaps I was the first family member ever to do so.

Book of Remembrance, Etaples, by Simon Chambers

Frederick Baker's entry in the Book of Remembrance at Etaples

close up of inscrpiton on Frederick Baker's grave, giving regiment, date of death, etc, by Simon Chambers

Inscription on Frederick Baker's grave stone
He was in the London Regiment, and was 24 when he died on 6th June 1915. His parents were Thomas and Emily Baker (nee Chambers), from Walworth

Simon at Frederick Baker's grave, by Marilyn Stephenson-Knight
Simon with scroll from Etaples, by Marilyn Stephenson-Knight Etaples after the Great War, from scroll, courtesy Simon Chambers

Left, a scroll issued for those buried at Etaples
Above, Etaples after the Great War, picture on the scroll

Copyright 2006 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved