DOVER WAR MEMORIAL PROJECT
Latest News 2007
13th December 2007. May we at the Dover War Memorial
you all the very best for Christmas and
for the New Year. We hope your Christmas is warm and cosy, and filled with
peace and goodwill; just as, even on the icy Western Front in 1914, there
was the famous truce between opposing soldiers, who sang carols and played
For more about this, and war-time Christmas in Dover, see our new article
May the New Year bring all you desire!
pictures: Christmas and New Year silk postcards sent from the Western
Front during the Great War
PS Illness continues to be a problem here. Never mind -
summer's on its way!
27th November 2007. We've been hit by illness. (Thanks,
L) So it
may take a little longer to respond to e-mails or letters. We love hearing
from you, and are delighted that those who lost their lives for us continue
to be remembered so well. Please bear with us - and be assured that we'll
store all communications, and, once the sickbeds are tucked away, we'll be
answering them all, just as normal
picture: red cross from Austin K2 ambulance (World War II)
22nd November 2007. We receive so many kind letters and e-mails from around
the world, praising and thanking the Dover War Memorial Project. Just some
of them can be seen
here's one of the latest, after the Service of
from Charlie Elphicke, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Dover and
It reads, "The commitment and dedication of so many people in making the
Dover War Memorial Project a reality has been extremely impressive.
Too often the role of Dover on the frontline has been overlooked, with the
fact it was being shelled from Calais seemingly forgotten. So too has the
cost to Dover in lives lost and buildings destroyed been overlooked. The War
Memorial Project has played a serious and substantial role in ensuring that
Dover and the country as a whole remember the sacrifice that the town made
in our country's darkest hour.
If there is anything I can to to assist or support the Project, do please
let me know and I would be honoured to do all I can. Best wishes, Charlie
Well, thank you very much, Charlie. Everyone who works on the Project is a
volunteer, and we truly appreciate that! Dover has always been to the fore
in the story of our nation -
and it is our privilege and an honour to ensure that
those who died, and the valour of our little front-line town, will never be
Here are more of the kind things said to us. The first is from someone in
"You deserve recognition for your joint efforts on The Dover War Memorial
Project. It is one thing to have a great idea, another to pursue it for a
while, and totally something different to produce a site with the depth of
research, quality, and time that underpins yours."
The second, from a Dovorian.
"Maggie, what you do is so very important, and I applaud all you do. It must
be so comforting for those left behind when they see your work - well done
you. It will never surprise me to see you receive an award from the Queen."
Thank you, all of you
13th November 2007. Thank you to everyone! We're delighted to say that the
Service was a resounding success, and we were privileged to be with so many
lovely people, both then and at the other Remembrance events in Dover and in
Belgium. Dover was a beautiful place, during Remembrance week.
There is much still to do and to write up - it will all appear in full here
on the website, along with other events in which we've been involved. In the
meantime, we continue to add more about our casualties. Thank you so much to
all of you who have been helping so much, and who continue to send in photos
"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember
Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving
31st October 2007. Thank you to the many wonderful people who have been
helping with the arrangements for the service. We really appreciate your
kindness. The service is to remember
those Dovorian civilians who suffered in the
two world wars of the 20th century, and to give thanks for those brave people who captured the guns at
Calais and so ended the ordeal of Dover by shelling.
Some of those who lost loved ones will be telling their stories at the
Here are the details:
date - Tuesday, 6th November 2007
time - 10.30 am
place - St Mary the Virgin, Cannon Street, Dover
Councillor Bob Markham, The Right Worshipful The Town Mayor of Dover has
also kindly agreed to speak at the service, as have Colonel Kevin Cotten, from the
Canadian High Commission, and Terry Sutton, OBE. Albert Bennet, Burma Star
veteran, and now a sprightly 93 years of age, will read his beautiful poem
on Remembrance (on which he has been complimented by H. M. The Queen. We
might not be quite in the same league, but we fell in love with it too, the
first time we heard it!).
There'll be well-loved traditional hymns, and a number of standard bearers
for Regimental Associations will be parading too. Do come
and join us - everyone is very welcome.
time - 12.15
place - St Mary's cemetery
After the service, a headstone on the previously unmarked grave of Freddie
Spinner, 9 year old casualty, will be unveiled by John Cork, Freddie's
boyhood friend, Ted Kelly, schoolchum, and Jan Vickery, Freddie's closest
living relative. Standard bearers will be present - and again, everyone is
welcome. Do please join us to help celebrate and commemorate a 60 year old friendship,
which has lasted beyond the grave.
14th October 2007. There has been such a lot of things happening with the
Dover War Memorial Project that we are spinning - and will probably continue
to do so until after the service on 6th November (see below). Fear not - it
will all be online eventually, and we will continue, as always, updating and
research to remember with honour those we lost, and their families.
In the meantime, arrangements for the service proceed well. A representative
from the Canadian High Commission will be kindly attending, as will our
Mayor. A Burma veteran (now 93 years old, bless him!) will be one of our
speakers, attending with the Treasurer General of the World Veterans'
Federation. There's been a superb response, and we're still hearing from
more people, including those related to our civilians who died. Thank you to
you all ... and, as they say, watch this space!.
- a Service at St Mary's
20th September 2007. On 6th November at 10.30am there will be a Remembrance
Service at St Mary the Virgin, Cannon Street, Dover, for civilians who
fell in Dover during the two world wars, and a Thanksgiving for those
brave people who captured the guns in the Pas de Calais and delivered the
town from the bombardment. Standard Bearers will be attending, and a number
of speakers, including those who lived through the events of September 1944.
Everyone is welcome - do please come along. You can discuss this on the
DWMP Forum, or, as always,
do contact us directly.
picture: Fallen Angel (found at Desborough cemetery, the last
resting place of Squadron Leader James Kirton)
The George Cross for Dover
September 2007 It's long been talked about. In 1944, when the shelling of
Dover finally ended, the ARP controller at Walthamstow wrote, "If any body
of persons in Britain deserves the George Cross, it is Dover". Known as
Hellfire Corner, Dover suffered bombing and shelling. In a period of just
over four years, the borough was struck by over 4,000 explosives, including,
on three occasions, the devastating parachute mines. Meanwhile, citizens in
the streets had to dive for cover as enemy planes strafed them. As a decoy
for the D-Day invasion, with its dummy canvas covered barges and its
fictional radio messages, Dover became a prime target for enemy bombardment.
Over 200 civilians died and over 700 were injured. Over 90% of properties
were damaged. But our white cliffs, standing proud above the Channel, became
a symbol of defiance, and of hope. Within easy sight of occupied France was
freedom. The George Cross will commemorate the bravery of those unsung
heroes and heroines of Dover who held hard to that freedom, and gave hope to
Find out more about the George Cross for
Graves and Transcriptions - and Tigers-by-the-Tail!
1st September 2007. Once again, thank you to the many lovely people who work
so hard to see that our Dovorian casualties are remembered with love and
respect. Thanks to much hard work by several people, the transcriptions for
the Dover Patrol Book and the Battery
Book are now completed, and can be found in
this section and in
this section respectively. We'll be organising a CD of both the words
and the images of all the pages to give to the Dover Museum, where both
books are stored, along with the pictures of the pages in the WWII Book of
the adoption of a grave of two WWII casualties is now complete, and the CWGC
inspector very kindly confirmed that the lettering on the stonework is to be
replaced by the CWGC. Thank you to the two super people who have taken on
this adoption (and who have been most supportive in other ways besides!)
Still on graves, another volunteer mentioned that a tree was growing in the
centre of one grave, wherein rest the parents of another WWII casualty, and
on the headstone of which he is commemorated. Relatives of the casualty
visit the grave, and were delighted when our lovely volunteers offered to
remove the tree safely, in order to ensure the stonework around the grave
was not damaged.
As for what one of our volunteers smilingly calls "Mission Control", Maggie
and Simon are pleased to report that all on the Dover War Memorial Project
is progressing very well. The last 21 months, since Maggie began the
Project, have certainly sometimes felt rather like trying to tame a wild
tiger! But if St George can defeat a dragon, then we can coax a cat. The
Virtual Memorial here already contains much information about our
casualties, and we'll continue to add to it frequently from the many records
we hold. We have many events in planning, including the Remembrance Service
below, and much more is bubbling. The Project continues to receive much
praise. This is what one person, who e-mailed recently, had to say, "I was
absolutely fascinated to read through your website on the Dover War
Memorial,. It is a brilliant Project and beautifully put together. If only
every town would do the same!"
So - thank you to all the wonderful people who help. The Dover War
Memorial Project exists to remember, with love, respect, and honour, those
Dovorians who lost their lives for us, and the families they left behind.
Together, we will ensure they will never be forgotten.
22nd August 2007. On 6th November at 10.30am there will be a Remembrance
Service at St Mary the Virgin, Cannon Street, Dover, for civilians who fell in Dover
during the two world wars, and a Thanksgiving for those brave people who
captured the guns in the Pas de Calais and delivered the town from the
bombardment. Please note the date and time
in your diary. More details will follow, and everyone is very welcome!
picture: Fallen Angel (found at Desborough cemetery, the last
resting place of Squadron Leader James Kirton)
11th and 12th August 2007. "Didn't we have a luverly time the day we went to
Dover!" Okay, so that's a slight paraphrase of the song - but very true,
nonetheless. We took our mobile exhibition and a few more things besides,
and, with the kind courtesy of Dover Town Council, shared a tent with
Fairtrade. But who did we meet and what was it like? Here are just a
few of the pictures of
Dover's Wonderful Regatta!
Visit Dover! It's not just a port - but a great place to stay and explore
our beautiful and varied corner of Kent. The Dover War Memorial Project is
pleased to host a guide by Roger Walkden to some of the super places to
visit ... so click away and discover
White Cliffs Country.
(.pdf format, so requires Acrobat Reader)
8th July 2007. We're delighted to announce that we are working in
partnership with the authors and researchers of this superb website,
recently come online.
Unaware of the others' work, all of us have nevertheless with pleasure
discovered that our differing perspectives are complementary. This
means that from both military and family perspectives there is much more
information online about our Dovorian casualties.
With our firm belief that those who gave their lives should be remembered
forever, with honour, respect, and love, we are thankful for those who
undertake this work in the right heart and spirit.
The Dover War Memorial Project welcomes Kent Fallen
The 1940s Weekend, Dover
20 June 2007. What a terrific weekend. Organised by the Hellfire Corner
Association, the 1940s weekend is now in its third year - and getting bigger
and better every time. Attended by re-enactors, traders, living history
displays, period vehicles, and entertainers, it was a weekend not to miss.
Even the sun shone! The full report is
The Mobile Exhibition
We've made a small exhibition for the various events this year to which
we've been invited. It consists of four panels, and may be seen
The Shoreham Aircraft Museum
12 June 2007. The museum was founded in 1978 by people with a passion for
the Battle of Britain. It houses many relics and artefacts, excavated and
donated, relating to the period and as a tribute to all airmen fighting over
southern England in World War II. This year they began a project of
erecting memorials to Battle of Britain pilots who died near the museum. We
attended the second dedication of such a memorial, to Nathaniel Barry, from
South Africa, which took place on 26th May 2007. The report is
The Battery Book and the Dover Patrol
Book of Remembrance
5 June 2007. These are
held at Dover Town Museum. We often receive requests for information from or
about these books, and the Museum kindly gave us permission to photography
them in entirety. Volunteers are currently transcribing the pages. The
transcription work to date may be viewed
here for the Battery Book and
here for the Dover Patrol Book, and there are also online selected
images of the Books from an earlier photo session for illustrative purposes.
When the work is completed, copies of the transcriptions, with some
additional information about individual men, and the images will be also
deposited at the Museum for reference.
The West Indian Ex-Servicemen's/Women's
22 May 2007. At Seaford in
Essex there are nearly 30 Great War graves. They contain
the remains of troops from Canada, Ireland, Britain, and
the West Indies. In conjunction with the Royal British
Legion in Seaford and the Canadian Veterans'
Association, the West Indian Ex-Service Association
unveiled plaques at their Headquarters in Clapham Manor
Road, London, to commemorate these graves.
We were invited to attend. It was a solemn yet joyful
occasion. The report is
The Prince of Wales Sea
20th May 2007. The Prince of Wales Sea Training
School was in Dover for over two decades; before then it was at
Ingham, Norfolk. 85 of the boys who trained at the School became
casualties in World War II. This year, the Memorial plaque was
transferred to Ingham, where it is now displayed at Holy Trinity
church. The pictures and story of this moving occasion may be seen
The Finest Hour
10th May 2007. This was the launch of the pub,
"The Finest Hour". It's intended a war-themed pub, filled with
memorabilia, and Sarah Webb, the landlady, has very kindly said that we
may use it as the home of the Dover War Memorial Project. Pictures
of the launch are
here; many events are planned.
20th April 2007: Easter this year was the 90th
anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge, when the enemy were driven
back by largely Canadian troops. There was one division of British
troops, and many of those fighting in the Canadian forces were newly
emigrated from Britain to Canada. Amongst them, losing their lives,
were Robert Igglesden and Henry Press, who came from Dover.
Four of us went out to Vimy that weekend, the
commemorate the event and the rededication of the Vimy Memorial by
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. The pictures of the event may be seen
There has been in the last week much media
interest in the significance of Walter Tull's name being on two
world war memorials in Dover (see
from the Dover Express, last year). Maggie S-K has given interviews
for the national press and radio, as well as specialist organs,
while Maggie's brother, Mike Webb, appeared on BBC South East for
the Dover War Memorial Project.
The reports have generated much further interest
in the history of 2nd Lieutenant Tull, who came from a dual-heritage
family, and is justly renowned for his successes as a professional
footballer and an army officer. There are a number of suggestions
for further commemoration of his achievements and career.
5th April 2007: We have completed the basic work
on the website, and have incorporated some of the information so far
received and researched. Now arises the poignant but satisfying task
of incorporating all the information that so many people have kindly
sent and supplied, plus the results of all the research we have so
There are over 60 CDs at 700MB each to work
through, along with another series of files that amount to around
1,000 MB. So the task will certainly take a few months to complete.
As always, then, if there's anything you would like to
ask, please do, and if you have any
information about casualties or memories of war-time Dover, do
please let us know. It is a great
privilege to remember those who gave all they could, for us.
We'll also be doing some admin work on the
information, to reconcile the various sources - and of course ...
research also continues, as there is much yet to accomplish.
So if you spot us whizzing past in the streets with distracted looks
do please stop us and say hello. We are delighted to have met so many
lovely people, and to have so many friends and well-wishers -
and thoroughly enjoy a good chat!
How to Help
17th March 2007: The Dover War Memorial Project
is run entirely by volunteers. Sadly we can't make the essential
costs, like postage, 'phone bills, stationery, voluntary too!
So I've set up some ways by which
donations to the Project may be made, if wished. These include the
affiliate programmes, whereby big-name retailers will pay a small
commission to the Project from their profits (not from increased prices!) if
customers click through from the Dover War Memorial Project site.
For interest, I'll also put online the
costs of running the Project
each month. Do
How to Help page to learn more - and find out about
volunteering and other ways to help too.
(I've also put online the kind things people have
said - some of them can be found
|World War II
16th March 2007:
There is some information already online for WWII casualties, but we
have more. The pages for these people will be updated over the next
few weeks, to bring them in line with WWI entries. After this we'll
begin incorporating all the extra information we have on all
casualties and all memorials. In the meantime, as always, if
you have any queries, or would like to add anything, including
pictures, to our virtual memorial website, please do
13th February 2007:
When I started the Dover War Memorial Project began over a year ago,
Tony Belsey gave me many sheets of information about Dover War
Memorials and about the Buffs. They have been invaluable - and at
last part of his inspirational list about the Memorials is online
here. War Memorials aren't just stone and bronze, brass and wood.
Who would have guessed that one Great War memorial in Dover was ...
Mark Frost Pages
9 February 2007: Mark Frost, from the Dover Museum, has very
kindly sent a lot of information. His work contains many details
extra to the information currently being compiled in the main WWI
casualty pages of this site, including 1901 census notes, 1912
Pike's Blue Book addresses, more "Soldiers Died" details, and some
additional knowledge that solves a mystery or two!
Eventually all the information can be
incorporated with the main entries, so that as much as possible is in the same
place. But to ensure that the information is available as quickly as possible, and
that Mark's work is fully credited, I've created a
special set of pages The
entries are in alphabetical order, and there's also a search
facility on this website, so hopefully the extra details should be
easy to find.
To Mark himself - very grateful thanks indeed,
for your painstaking work and for so very kindly sending it to us.
Thank you for helping us all to remember those who gave everything
here for Updated Pages
14 January 2007: Now available is a list of
the pages updated on this website, along with the dates they have
been updated. The list is accurate to the last spider run. This
occurs normally every other day, in the late evening.
The launch of the
"We Remember" booklet for Remembrance 2006 marks the end of
the first year of the Dover War Memorial Project. What a superb
year it's been. We've met so very many lovely people, and heard
amazing stories of courage. At the same time there have
been many public initiatives, including fund-raising barbecues,
articles in the media, and, of course, the booklet itself.
But above all, we have been privileged to
learn about so many of those who lost their lives for us, and to
honour them by ensuring that they will never be forgotten. This
year's Remembrance Sunday at our Town War Memorial was the
busiest for many years. It was a very emotional time; the square
was as full as my eyes.
Remembrance is forever. There are very many more
initiatives to come, in memory of all those we so sadly
lost. It's on this page where future events will first be announced, so,
as the media catchphrase goes, "watch this space".
Over this winter all the findings of the
Project will be written up to appear on this website. It will
take time, as there's much to do.
But the benefit is that every day the site will be updated! This is where you can help
again too - because there
will be gaps waiting for further information or pictures.
If you can fill in those gaps, please do let us know. Please continue too to let us know your stories and memories of
war-time Dover. What happened in your family?
Welcome and thanks to our
"Dover Remembers" volunteers, caring in corners of foreign fields; and, as always,
thank you so very much to everyone who has
helped. I will stay in touch, and of course I will, as usual,
pass on anything new we find. In the
meantime, if you have any further information, or anyone you would like remembered, please do
let us know. If you have a website, please help as many as
possible remember those we loved and lost by linking to us
www.doverwarmemorialproject.org.uk (we will reciprocate).
The aim of the Dover War Memorial Project is, in
due course, that we construct a more permanent memorial in
honour of those who stood firm, and who gave their lives. And
that our children and theirs will know of their forebears, who
they were, and what they did. For we
must never forget.
With best wishes,