DOVER WAR MEMORIAL PROJECT
Latest News 2008
day is Remembrance Day at the Dover War Memorial Project.
As our families gather to celebrate Christmas, never forgotten
are those whose families were broken apart by the two
world wars - nor those .who knew far fewer Christmases than they
should; who never had the joy of growing up and passing
Christmas with families of their own.
Two of them are here, buried at St Mary's.
Little Freddie Spinner,
9 years old, was killed at the Priory Station by one of the last shells of World
War II,. Gertrude Boorman,
"Girlie", 13, lost her life in 1918 when a destroyer
outside the harbour shelled her home at Cowgate Hill.
These beautiful flowers were laid by Joyce
Banks,. who works so hard all year round in memory of our lost
Dovorians. Joyce added a card reading, "You are always in our thoughts
and you will never be forgotten". This, remembering
casualties in this way, is her Christmas gift
for us. What a kindly thought, and a wonderful thing to
have done. Thank you so much, Joyce.
We wish you all a peaceful joyful Christmas, and many blessings
for the coming New Year.
Christmas Post Script
28th December 2008.
Post Script: Living away from Dover, as we
do, it isn't easy always to join in the parties and
celebrations. This year - as probably one of the best kept
secrets ever - Dover
came to us! We opened the door to find on the doorstep, rather
like Bilbo Baggins, an Unexpected Party.
What fun! Braving the Wilderlands of
the motorways and the Deep Caverns of the Dartford tunnel, they
came, laden with Christmas cheer. Here with Maggie and
Simon are, left to right, Stewart, Georgette, Alan, and Brian.
Thank you, you lovely people, for bringing to us a bit of Dover,
and making our Christmas.
90th Anniversary of the Armistice
and 11th November 2008. All year we've been working in
partnership on the commemorations of Walter Tull.
A further lottery-funded project by the City of Westminster
Archives, running parallel, was "Not Forgotten". Based on the
Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, it has created further
educational resources for young people. Amongst those featured
in "Not Forgotten" classroom activities are our casualties
George and Stephen Palmer, cousins of Walter Tull, and John
We spent the 90th anniversary of the Armistice at Westminster,
in the company of our delightful new generations.
Crossing the White Line and
Not Forgotten tell the story.
Walter Tull - BBC
30th October 2008. Over the past few months we've
been chatting with those nice people from the BBC, about Walter
Tull and about the war-time history of our home town, Dover and
the surrounding area. There will be several broadcasts over the
repeated 13th November
(after documentary below)
|"Walter's War" - drama based on an imaginary
period in Walter Tull's life
| documentary - "Walter Tull, Forgotten
|local news features - South East
||a series on the Great War in our area
30th September 2008. We receive very many lovely
comments from people the world over, as they visit this website:
Dover's Virtual Memorial. Here is one, from a writer in the USA,
for all of us who love our Frontline town and its proud history
"Please tell as many Dover residents that you know that they
are heirs of some
wonderful and courageous people, who showed their future
generations how to look
at danger and carry on with determination and sacrifice to make
In recognition of the unprecedented bravery of
Dovorians during the Second World War, there is a currently a
campaign for Dover to be awarded the George Cross.
25th September 2008. As part of the commemorations
organised for Walter Tull this year, the 120th anniversary of
his birth and the 90th of his death, a new website has been
released. Here's the address:
Crossing the White Line
With information about events already held, and those still to
come (including those in our own Frontline Town of Dover), news
about BBC and feature film productions, super teaching
resources, and a chance to have your own say about whether our
local hero should be posthumously awarded the Military Cross,
it's certainly worth a visit!
The commemorative initiative was led by The City of Westminster
Archives in partnership with a number of other organisations
(see the links page on the "Crossing the White Line" website for more details), and was
funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Illustration: the front cover of "The Walter Tull
Story", one of the educational resources for years five and six,
downloadable pdfs from "Crossing the White Line" website (image
reproduced with permission).
Merchant Navy Memorial.
3rd September 2008. Donald Hunter, Chairman of the
Kent Branch of the Merchant Navy Association, was the founder of the Dover
and District Merchant Navy Memorial Fund.
A retired Merchant Seaman, who served in World War II, and who worked on ***
higly explosive, and also ran the gauntlet of the Straits of Dover, under
gunfire from the occupied Calais coast, he spent three years raising funds
for a Memorial for Merchant Seamen, perished in the war.
On Merchant Navy Day, 2008, the memorial, on Dover Sea Front, was
1st September 2008
In Memory of
Doris Irene Ray
17th June 1927 to 31st August 2008
A dear lady, greatly loved, and
Rest In Peace
July 2008. This year is the 90th anniversary of the Armistice - the eleventh
hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, when it was agreed that
hostilities on the Western Front should end. A new cross-stitch kit has been
created in memory of the Fallen, complete with the Kohima Prayer,
"When you go home,
tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow we gave our today".
Our good friend and DWMP volunteer, The
Fabric Fairy, is selling this on e-bay.
For every kit sold,
kindly donate £2 to The Dover War
Memorial Project, helping us continue the work of Remembrance in
honour of our Fallen.
10 June 2008. Regular visitors will have noticed we've been a little
quiet on the website recently. That's because
we've been re-organising our (many!) office files, prior to beginning the
next Phase of the Project (and, dare we confess, also because Maggie has
been doing battle on the Garden Front!). But the work of Remembrance has
continued of course, and there is much more soon to go online. Thank you to
everyone who has emailed, written, and 'phoned - and
- and, as always, many
special thanks to Joyce Banks, who works tirelessly behind the scenes to
help ensure that our Fallen are never forgotten.
On a family note ... on the left, are Emily, Maggie's eldest daughter, and
Luke, who last December together laid the Dover War Memorial Project wreath at the Menin Gate. Last week (4th June, Emily's birthday), they announced their
engagement. Congratulations and best wishes to them both!
17 May 2008. Just arrived - a new forum for all those interested
in Kent Memorials and Military matters. Set up by our friends at Kent
Fallen, and administered by the Dover War Memorial Project, Faded Genes, and
Kent Fallen, this is an opportunity to discuss shared interests, ask
questions, display your own knowledge (we'd be grateful!), and generally
chat in a group of link-minded folk, who have at heart the memory of those
who gave all they could.
The forum is here
- looking forward to seeing you!
11 May 2008 - until 17th May 2008. It's ME/CFS awareness
week, designed to spread knowledge about this disabling and painful
condition. Nobody really yet knows what causes it - though typically
it can be triggered by a viral infection, such as a 'flu-like illness,
perhaps combined with another stressful event. Up to 25% of sufferers are so
severely affected they are house- or bed-bound. There is no cure yet known.
Two of Maggie's daughters are sufferers. One has been ill for three years,
the second has been recently diagnosed. AYME, the
Association for Young People with ME,
has been a lifeline - other great helps have been the
ME Association and
Action for ME
ME/CFS is estimated to affect some 240,000 people in the UK. It's a beastly
illness, and it's also sneaky, because it doesn't show up on medical tests
currently available. So, despite its having been recognised by the World
Health Organisation since 2002, it's not always recognised or readily
diagnosed. Could there be an undiagnosed sufferer near you?
From AYME, here
are some of the "hard
facts", including a list of the symptoms.
ME Awareness Week. Be aware, and do look after yourselves.
"Crossing the White Line"
24 April 2008. Crabble Corn Mill was the venue for the first of
the events to be held in Dover for this year-long national commemoration of
the life of Walter Tull.
It was a grand day, with young folk painting panels
on a design by London artist Jonathan Boast, depicting Walter Tull's two
And - it pays to increase your word power for those pub quizzes. What was
The Miller's Tale?
The Old Pharosians
17th March 2008. The website for the Old Pharosians is currently
on a different host. The Old Pharosians are the Old Boys of the Dover
Grammar School for Boys (formerly, County School). A number of our
casualties were educated there, and there is a list of pupils who lost their
lives in the Second World War and some are in school photos. See
The Grammar School for more details.
Update - 21st April - the original host is now functional again.
Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving
12th March 2008. Thank you so much to all of you, who supported,
advised, and helped with the Dover War Memorial Project service, last
November 6th, in remembrance of our civilian casualties from both wars, and
in thanksgiving for those brave people who captured the guns at Calais, and
so ended the ordeal of Dover by shelling.
A full report on the service, and on the dedication of the new headstone to
one of our civilian casualties, is now online.
An index to the pages is
here (or follow
the link from the "Information Index")
Our Great War Civilian Casualties
2nd March 2008. Tucked up in bed in her home on Cowgate Hill,
Gertrude Boorman ("Girlie") was killed by an enemy shell that burst in
We're all aware of the terrible loss of life in the Second World War in our
civilian populations. But not so many know that civilians were killed in the
Great War too. Girlie was one - she died in 1918.
She, and the many others like her, should not be forgotten. There's a new
e-petition on the 10 Downing Street website, requesting that the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission be enabled to record Great War civilian
casualties, in just the same way that they can and do remember those killed
in the Second World War. Please think about signing it - it's here
The inscription on Girlie's headstone reads: ""Girlie" - In
Loving Memory of our darling Gertrude M. Boorman. Born 25th October 1904,
killed 16th February 1918 by German submarine bombardment. Loved by All."
20th February 2008 Last year we assisted in the research and
compilation of information about
Walter Tull, first
black combat officer in the British Army and first black outfield
professional football player, whose mother came from Dover. His sisters and
stepparents lived in our town, and it was they who requested his name should
be placed on two of our memorials (the Town Memorial and the one at River).
In this year, the 120th anniversary of his
birth in 1888, and the 30th of his death and of the Armistice agreement in
1918, there will be a large-scale national project to commemorate his life
and his ground-breaking achievements. It's funded by the Heritage Lottery
Fund, and led by the City of Westminster Archives.
Events will be held across the
country; one has already occurred at Walter Tull's old school in Folkestone,
two are planned for Dover. Watch this space!
24th January 2008. We often get requests for information or
help from readers. Some are here -
can YOU help?
A Happy New Year to You All!
3rd January 2008. As always, there's much to achieve in
remembrance. As many of you already know, we've been plagued by
illness over the last couple of months May I therefore offer
apologies that we have been rather slower in answering
correspondence and e-mails than normal, and also that much
information remains to be written up on the site. Please bear with
us - we'll catch up as quickly as possible!
We are now at the end of the second year of
the Dover War Memorial Project. The Project is run entirely by
volunteers, and it's been a very busy time, with many
all those brave people from our town who lost their lives in the
two world wars. Some are already written up in the
information section - many
more are to follow.
At the same time we've met and made many new
friends around the world. So many have offered new information
in honoured memory, so many we have been able to help learn more
of their own family heroes. So many people too we have brought
together - new cousins, previously unknown ... and even a
half-brother and sister, meeting for the very first time, thanks
to the Dover War Memorial Project.
If you can help, with any further
information, or you have 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
www.doverwarmemorialproject.org.uk (we will reciprocate).
Other ways of helping can be found
(including shopping online, which costs you nothing, but
provides a donation to the Project for each order made). And
again, may I please thank the many wonderful volunteers who have
given so freely of their time and knowledge to help the Project.
You've done so much - what lovely people you are!
It is a joy and a privilege to be able to do
this work of Remembrance. We can never repay the debt to those
we seek to remember. But I hope that in our continued
remembrance and thankfulness, and in the comradeship and
friendship that is founded and growing upon that remembrance, we
are creating a beautiful legacy to their sacrificed lives, a
legacy of which they
would be proud.
With best wishes,