DOVER WAR MEMORIAL PROJECT
Latest News 2010
Welcome to Dover's Virtual War Memorial
Patron: Dame Vera Lynn, DBE, LL.D,
The Unknown Warrior Exhibition
5 December 2010. The exhibition and the stained-glass
window, designed by artist Jonathan Boast and created by 3rd (St
Martin's) Dover Scout Group and 8th Dover Brownies are now on
display in Dover library, in the Market Square. Above left is an
image of part of the exhibition as it appeared when displayed at
Westminster Abbey over Remembrance.
In the New Year the window and exhibition will be going to the
Royal Engineers Museum at Gillingham, and in March to Firepower,
The Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich. If your group would like
to display the exhibition and window, please
let us know. There's no charge
Vera Lynn, DBE, LL.D, M.Mus
Patron of The Dover War Memorial Project
19 November 2010. The Dover War Memorial Project is
absolutely thrilled and delighted to announce that Dame Vera
Lynn has most graciously and kindly become the patron of the
Dover War Memorial Project.
Known as the "Forces' Sweetheart" Dame Vera will be forever an
icon of the Second World War. Her uplifting songs of hope, such
as "We'll Meet Again" raised the morale of millions and her
concerts brought much-needed light and cheer during those dark
Seventy years after that war began, Dame Vera became
the oldest living artist to achieve a top-20 album. Born in
1917, she began her long and successful career at the age of
seven. 1924 was the tenth anniversary of the commencement of the
Great War, and the year the Dover Town Memorial was
With her legendary song "(There'll be Bluebirds Over) The White
Cliffs of Dover", Dame Vera will be forever associated with our
frontline town, itself a symbol of hope and home. As we
remember those who never again saw those white cliffs - and
those who defended them to their utmost - we are honoured indeed
that Dame Vera Lynn should have become the patron of The Dover
War Memorial Project.
"I wish The Dover War Memorial Project continued international
success, It is a living
to us all of those who were an example to us all."
Picture of Dame Vera Lynn by Ian Lillford
Unknown Warrior Musical
12 November 2010 What a wonderful experience! Young
people at St Martin's Primary School presented - on the exact
90th Anniversary of the date he came home through Dover - a
commemorative musical performance of the story of the Unknown
The music was composed by Russell Hepplewhite. Accompanied by
Russell on the piano and Rebecca Hewes on the 'cello, pupils
sang solo and in chorus. , with songs ranging from "Dover Bids
You Welcome" through the lively "Thundering Down the Track" and
the reflective Remembrance refrain "He Could Be Anyone" as the
body was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey. Baritone Maciek
O'Shea narrated and played the role of Reverend Railton (above).
"Very proud" - "So moving" - "Excellent!" were some of the
comments from the audience, which included The Right Worshipful
The Mayor of Dover, Cllr Sue Jones, The Mayoress, Cllr Ronnie
Philpott, and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr David Hannent. A retiring
collection raised £205.40, for St Martin's School, 3rd Dover
Scouts, who are refurbishing their hut, Eaves Hall, and for the
totally voluntary donation-funded The Dover War Memorial
The performance was featured by Meridian televison in their news
bulletins on Armistice Day and by BBC Radio Kent.
2 November 2010 Young people from St Martins Primary School
visited Westminster Abbey and the tomb of the Unknown Warrior as
part of the 90th Anniversary project, supported by the Heritage
Lottery Fund. In a day filled with activities, they watched a
video, participated in a specially-written play about the
servicemen and their families during the Great War, and met
"Reverend Railton" - an actor playing the part of the clergyman
who conceived the idea of the Unknown Warrior for Britain.
Their day finished with an Act of Remembrance by the tomb of
the Unknown Warrior, where they remembered especially Dovorian
casualties Cecil Bromley and Tommy Eaves, and laid a cross and a
tribute to them on the Unknown Warrior's grave.
As part of the 90th Anniversary project, Several other schools
will also be visiting during this week and next, as will Scouts
and Bronwies from Dover.
Dover Town Council Awards Grant
October 2010 We'd like to thank Dover Town Council, who
have awarded The Dover War Memorial Project a grant of £100.
This will be used to purchase essential equipment to enable us
to continue archiving for the future all the information and
material we have gathered and been so kindly given since the
Thank you to everyone who has contributed, and thank you to
Dover Town Council
The "90th Anniversary of the Unknown Warrior" Project
17 October 2010. Following the Heritage Lottery Grant,
young people in Kent and London have been busy! Professional
artist Jonathan Boast spent a week with 3rd (St Martin's) Dover
Scout Group and 8th Dover Brownies to design a stained-glass
window, which design will be on display in Westminster Abbey
during Remembrance, as part of the "90th Anniversary" exhibition
currently being created.
Meanwhile, children from five different
enjoyed classroom sessions studying casualties local to their
area. Along with handling original artefacts and studying
original sources, the young folk were able to dress up - what
did it feel like to wear a uniform of the time?
Right are pupils
of St Martin's School, Dover, by the school war memorial with Peter Daniel and Kimi Gilbert
from the City of Westminster Archives, and Susannah S-K from The
Dover War Memorial Project. All pupils are now working on
epitaphs and window designs to take to Westminster Abbey for
their visits during Remembrance fortnight..
at Crabble Corn Mill
8th October 2010, Crabble Corn Mill, River, Dover, are now
hosting part of the Dover War Memorial Project's exhibition,
"The Summer of 1940".Thank you to the Mill - we were very
pleased to be able to inspect the new installation during the
recent Cider Festival(!). Do visit the Mill if you can - it's
beautiful, and there's the bonus of a scrumptious tea-room when
the legs are wearied after all the exploring of this histioric
and charming site on the River Dour (picture
courtesy of Crabble Corn Mill)
"From the Front"
30th September 2010. The Autumn 2010 newsletter is now line.
This is "The Season of Remembrance". We remember the home-coming
of five of the serving soldiers killed in Afghanistan, the
Battle of Britain 70th anniversary at Capel-le-Ferne, the
Merchant Navy service on the anniversary of the sinking of the
Athenia. There's some news about the 90th anniversary of the
home-coming of the Unknown Warrior, and we take a nostaligc look
back at old Dover.
Find out too what happened when Maggie and Simon went on a pub
The Heritage Lottery Fund - Grant for The Unknown Warrior 90th
30th September 2010. This year is the 90th anniversary of the
return of the Unknown Warrior. he was brought home through Dover
on 10th November 1920 and was buried at Westminster Abbey the
next day, the second
anniversary of Armistice Day.
We are absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund .have
approved a grant enabling The Dover War Memorial Project, with
partners The City of Westminster Archives, Westminster Abbey, the
Royal Artillery (Firepower) Museum,, and Medway Archives, along
with Chelsea Football Club, to explore
the story of the Unknown Warrior with young people in
Dover, Chatham, and Westminster.
There are a heap of activities planned, including a
specially-written musical ...watch this space!
16 August 2010. We were very sad to learn that popular and
respected Reg Levy died on 1st August. He was 88, born on 8 May
1922. Until just under three weeks before his death he was
continuing to write on the Professional Pilots' Forum, using
computer skills he had learnt only in his last two or three
Reg was a pilot of long-standing skill, and experience, clocking
up some 27,000 miles in different aircraft and airlines since
his training during World War II..He was awarded the DFC in
1944, surviving several narrow escapes, including one when a
bomb dropped straight through his Halifax. Noted for his
coolness under fire, Reg was the pilot credited with saving over
100 people on board when his passenger plane was hijacked in
1972. The ordeal lasted 20 hours, and Reg's wife Dora was
also aboard, having joined him to help celebrate his 50th
birthday. Reg retired in 1981, his wife accompanying him on his
Reg died in his retirement home of Dover, where his funeral was
held on 11 August.
July 2010. The battle of Fromelles, France, was fought on 19 and
20 July 1916. Exactly ninety-four years later, retrieved with
249 others from a mass grave, the remains of the last casualty -
"Known unto God" - were laid to rest in a newly-created
cemetery close by.
On this anniversary, four other servicemen came home to their
rest. Three had been based at Folkestone, Kent, just a few miles
from Dover. We joined hundreds of people in Wootton Bassett
paying their respects to Major James Bowman, Lieutenant Neal
Turkington, Corporal Arjun Purja Pun, and Marine Matthew
Harrison. They were killed in Afghanistan.
Few - 70 years on
11 July 2010. The 70th anniversary of the The Battle of
Britain was marked at the memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, with
a service of remembrance and wreath-laying. in the presence of
HRH Prince Michael of Kent and nineteen of the remaining Few.
The DWMP were amongst thousands who attended, thrilled by the
fly past of a Lancaster and Spitfire, and a display by a solo
Spitfire. We'll have more pictures in the next newsletter -
"From the Front", Autumn 2010
27 June 2010 "From the Front". The new newsletter - Summer 2010 - for the
Dover War Memorial Project is online - see link above. We're
experimenting with sending the newsletter out by email on
request; if you'd like to sign up for this, please
17 June 2010. The weekend after the evacuee reunion it was
back to Dover again. This time it was the 1940s weekend, held
annually in Pencester Gardens. All the old favourites were
there, and despite a few gusts of wind that rattled the odd tent
post, the weather was kind as we enjoyed war-time music and
The Dover War Memorial Project took along a new exhibition for
this year - "The Summer of 1940" - and a display of items
donated, in memory of some of our Fallen, including Albert
Port, Thomas Claringbould, and William Sole..
After that it was off to the library, to set up part of the
exhibition there. The Summer of 1940 is famed for the Battle of
Several of The Few, to whom we many owe so much, are associated
with Dover, and along with our display we were privileged to
arrange some items kindly lent by the
Shoreham Aircraft Museum,
near Sevenoaks. The whole display will be at the library until
the end of August.
7 June 2010. .What a wonderful day we had, marking the 70th
anniversary of the evacuation of children from Dover and
surrounding areas to South Wales. 70 years ago they were dark
days indeed - parents and children separated, then brothers
separated from sisters, as children were sent west to relative
safety, far from the feared invasion now the enemy were just 22
miles away, across the channel. Here, above, with the Mayor and
Mayoress of Dover, the Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, and the Vice
Chair of Dover District Council, are some of those who lived
through those historic times. Thank you, all of you, and
thank you, organiser John Lockyer, for making this a day to
12 May 2010. At the end of this month it's the 70th
anniversary of the "miracle" of Dunkirk. While troops were
brought home, others were leaving. On 1 June 1940 3,000 Dover
schoolchildren and their teachers left for the safer area of
In Dover on 6 June a special service,
followed by reunions, has been arranged at St Mary's Church,
Cannon Street. The library is also hosting a small exhibition.
The DWMP recently visited a number of places where they had
sent - and even found one of the very few Dovorian evacuees who
had decided to stay in Wales and make a new life there. We
couldn't have been made more welcome. Councillors in the
Blaenavon area were very enthusiastic about a joint 70th
commemoration with Dover. We've passed all information and
contacts on to the Town Council.
Above: the Great War Memorial clock, outside the
Council Offices at Cwmbran
Right: Maggie with Cllr Robert Gulliford and Cllr Tom Huish,
outside the Ironmaster's house in Blaenavon, at the very first
school attended by Dover evacuees.
5 May 2010. We welcome to the family little Sophie Grace,
born on 4 May. .
The proud parents are Emily, Maggie S-K's eldest daughter, and
her husband Luke. The new Dad, as all dads everywhere who have
daughters, is totally besotted. Who wouldn't be?
All are doing fine - even Maggie, who has now realised she's
suddenly become ... a grandmother.
Welcome to the world, Sophie Grace.
and Mrs Newlywed!
24 April 2010. Here are Helena and Alistair, just after
their wedding in The Guildhall, at Bath.
The couple met at university in Cambridge nine years ago, and
have been best friends ever since. Helena is Maggie S-K's middle
daughter, and volunteer artist for the Dover War Memorial Project.
Alistair is training to be a teacher and when he's not studying
works with young folk of all ages, including young carers.
Two bridesmaids, Susannah and Charmaine, and a matron of honour,
Emily, supported the bride, while two best people - Best
Fran and Best Dan - made sure the groom got to the Guildhall on
On a beautiful and light-hearted day, the theme was ...
fascinators. All the wedding party and guests wore one; just
visible in the picture is Alistair's nifty little top hat. And
for those who know him, it will be no surprise that Maggie's
brother Mike Webb's choice was flashing red demon horns ... !
Congratulations to the new couple, and may they be fascinated
by each other for the rest of their lives.
19 April 2010. May 6 is the big day for those vital little
crosses at the UK ballot box. But here's
one manifesto vital to everyone -
the ME/CFS* manifesto for
Two of Maggie S-K's daughters are among the 250,000 people in the UK affected by this
acquired neurological disability. Unlike the psephologists, ME/CFS is no respecter of
demographics. It's also no respecter of persons; symptoms
include joint pain and
cramps, unrelenting headache, irritable bowel, confusion, "brain
fog", high sensitivity to smells and bright lights and touch,
sleeplessness, lack of bodily temperature control, and an
overwhelming chronic fatigue that does not get better with rest.
25% of people affected are bedbound/housebound, some must be
tube fed. The Chief Medical
Officer's report, January 2002, stated that ME/CFS "should be
classed as a chronic condition, with long term effects on
health, alongside other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and
motor neurone disease"
Yet there's still insufficient research into potentially
triggering infections, insufficient advice on prevention, and
insufficient training for medical and welfare professionals.
The manifesto's easy to read - just four key pages. How would your MP - or MP
hopeful - respond?
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
ME/CFS awareness week this year is 8 to 16 May
12 April 2010. Phil Vasili, author of the new book about
Walter Tull, ("Walter Tull, 1888-1918. Officer, Footballer. All
the Guns in France couldn't Wake Me") tells us that "Walter's
War", the drama about Walter Tull, is scheduled for repeat
on Saturday 17th April 2010, at 22.25. on BBC Four. It's
followed by the documentary "Walter Tull: Forgotten Hero", which
will be repeated later at 03.35 Sunday morning. e know some
of you missed these first time round, so here's another
11 April 2010. There are a lot of Remembrance events in and
around Dover, but it's sometimes difficult to find the dates
and details. So we've started a calendar,
online. Thank you to Sally Kay Moat, who has helped so much, and
will be coming up with more! If you have any more dates
and details to be included, please do
31 March 2010. What a wonderful evening!
We had the superlative surprise that the Deal, Dover, Sandwich,
and District (DDS) branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) had decided
to make a donation to the Dover War Memorial Project from the
proceeds of their White Cliffs Beer Festival, held in February.
The presentation (complete with a luscious buffet meal!) took
place at the gorgeous Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club (below) on
the seafront in Dover. Maggie and Simon brought the display of our Dovorian casualties who have recently been remembered on
our Town Memorial; several members of CAMRA had family members
commemorated that proud day.
The cheque was presented by Dave Green, organiser of the
festival (holding the cheque with Maggie, above). During her speech of acceptance and thanks Maggie
underlined similarities between CAMRA and the Dover War Memorial
Project with their values of tradition, heritage, the community
and the individual. Maggie concluded by proposing a toast to our
Fallen, "In deep gratitude and with honour, we remember you."
Movingly, then, Peter (Jim) Green
(holding the wreath) spoke the words "They shall
grow not old, as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary
them, nor the years contemn. At the going down of the sun, and
in the morning, We will remember them".
We do, and we will. The monies raised by the White Cliffs Beer
Festival will be put towards ensuring that our Fallen can be
remembered as the precious individuals they once were, when we
ourselves are long gone.
Thank you, CAMRA, DDS) not only for this
wonderful donation, but for your warm and friendly company
during a super evening. (Should you wish to experience
this, their website
has details of meetings and events!). The White Cliffs Beer
Festival itself is held annually, the first weekend of each
February, in what must be one of the oldest venues for such a
Festival - Dover Town Hall, parts of which date from 1203.
"From the Front" - Spring Newsletter
28 March 2010. Issue 1 of "From the Front"
is here (pdf
Contacting the Project
23 March 2010. Please use
these contact details
for all matters concerning The Dover War Memorial Project
Walter Tull book launch
6 March 2010. At The Grand Hotel in Folkestone was launched the new book
by Phil Vasili about our local (and international!) hero Walter
Tull. Over a hundred people attended the event organised by Raw
Press, the publishers, including the Deputy High Commissioner of
Barbados, the Mayors of Dover and Folkestone, and
representatives from The Walter Tull Association, Football
Unites Racism Divides, Step Short in Folkestone, Action for
Children, Tottenham Hostpurs, and the West Indian Association of
Service Personnel. The children of Walter's old school, Mundella,
sang specially-written songs about Walter's life.
And of course, who else was there but many members of Walter's
family (above). Some had travelled hundreds of miles to be at
the launch - others but a few, from the neighbouring town of
Dover. Holding the books are Walter's great-nieces, Pat, the
grand-daughter of Walter's brother Edward, next to her brother,
also Edward, and on the right, Rita, grand-daughter of
William Tull. It was a terrific event, with many initiatives now
planned to commemorate and teach the story of an extraordinary
man - Walter Tull, an icon for our modern age.
Rest in Peace 2
6 March 2010. Albert ("Dick") Whittamore first chatted to us
four years ago. He 'phoned to tell us more about one of our
Dovorian civilian casualties, a person he'd known well. We
a number of times subsequently, especially about his Dick's
war-time experiences, and discovered that our acquaintance went
back rather more years than we'd thought, as Maggie had been one
of a number of mischievous urchins who from time to time had
bought such schoolday essentials as long-legged plastic spiders,
fake-bloodied fingertips, and stink-bombs from his shop over
Tower Hamlets, Dover.
Dick suffered severely from emphysema for many years, an illness
he blamed on cigarette-smoking. Known as a Dover character, he
wanted to warn others. One of his last requests were that his
hearse should tour the town, placards reading "Smoking Killed
Me!" around his coffin, before his burial at St Mary's.
6 January 1925 to 16 February 2009Rest in Peace, Dick. We hear
there'll be a brightest star shining ....
Rest in Peace
22 February 2010.
We send our sincere sympathies to the family of Robin Davies,
who sadly passed away yesterday, at the age of 56. Robin will be
remembered as "Carrot", from the television series "Catweazle",
celebrating this month the fortieth anniversary of its first
A gentleman loved by many, Robin was a
sunshine in our childhoods. Rest In Peace
photo: at "Hexwood", the location of the first
series - Robin, with Maggie's daughter Emily, and Geoffrey
Away with the Fairies!
22 February 2010. We may have seemed a little quiet recently
- but the work in Remembrance of our Dovorian Fallen never
stops. We took a trip to Harlech, Wales, to visit the grave of
one of our casualties,
Lieutenant Rupert Morrison, who died in
The trip was the suggestion of Michelle and
Andy Cooper, pictured left with Maggie at that station on
Anglesey (Llanfairpwyll.....gogogoch - er - the one with the
We took the
opportunity to visit as many War Memorials
in the area as
possible; they vary from the huge Celtic cross above Porthmadog
to the charming brown marble posts outside tiny village chapels
(left, at Rhiw).
It brings home the sobering realisation that the long arms of
war can reach into even the smallest and most remote homes, and
from their warm hearths snatch away forever their sons.
Welcome to ...
28 January 2010. A warm welcome to Sarah! She's a graduate,
and has very kindly volunteered to join us and gain work
experience at DWMP HQ (as some of you call it!), up here in
Buckinghamshire. Sarah will be helping construct "The Last
Word", a new section on the DWMP website featuring epitaphs for
Dovorian Fallen in Dover cemeteries. The first page of thumbnail
photos and transcriptions is now online, accessible through the
We have copies of the original large photos
here, and as always offer grateful thanks to Joyce Banks, who
has taken nearly all the pictures and supplied the
transcriptions. Joyce works tirelessly in memory of our Fallen,
and supplied the information for another new section, also
online this month,
Notes on WWI Service Records as well as further notes on
Thank you to all you super
people, who give so generously of your time, knowledge, and
skills, to help ensure that those we lost from our Frontline
Town will never be forgotten.
- Walter Tull Book Launch -
7 January 2010. The new book by Phil Vasili, a biography of
Walter Tull, published by Raw Press, will be launched at The
Grand Hotel, The Leas, Folkestone. Owing to the weather, the
launch has now been postponed. It will take place on 5th March
at 16.00, at the same venue. If you are interested in attending,
please contact us .
2 January 2010. Congratulations and love to Maggie's Uncle
Ron and Auntie Dorne, who on Boxing Day
celebrated sixty years
of marriage. Ron Easton is well-known and remembered in Dover as
a railway engine driver; a tradition in our family for several
generations - perhaps unsurprisingly as he is related to
the "Father of the Railways" George Stephenson. Dorne, née
Terry, is a Dovorian too, and vividly remembers sheltering with
her mother during the air-raids during the Second World War.
How long seemed the hours for a child until the all-clear
The couple have a daughter living nearby, a granddaughter,
and great-grandchildren. A close family, they have celebrated
nearly as long in their home, living next door to Ron's sister
Vera (Maggie's mum) until she died.
Timmy and Gavin.
- Walter Tull Book Launch -
2 January 2010. The new book by Phil Vasili, a biography of
Walter Tull, published by Raw Press, will be launched at The
Grand Hotel, The Leas, Folkestone, on 9th January 2010,
beginning at 2.30. If you'd like to attend, Maggie has
invitations available so do please
2 January 2010. For the Christmas
period, Joyce Banks laid these beautiful hyacinths on the graves
of some of our casualties. Little Freddie Spinner was just 9
when he was killed at Dover Priory station by shelling in 1944;
the card on his flowers reads; "with all our love". Girlie
Boorman died when her home on Cowgate Hill was shelled from a
vessel outside the harbour in February 1916: her card reads, "to
Gertrude with lots of love and kisses from Maggie". In the
centre are two soldiers of the Second World War, who died on 2
June 1940. "Known Unto God"
Thank you Joyce for this surprise and your
Happy New Year!
Welcome to a new year of the Dover War
Memorial Project, as we seek to honour and remember those who
fell for us, and their families, in the two World Wars of the
As always, last year was very busy, both in
the public view and behind the scenes. One superb and wonderful
event was the dedication of a new plaque on our Memorial to more
of our Fallen. It was a moving day, sad, yet full of joy and
pride as we gathered to remember those who lost their lives. The
next update for our Memorial is scheduled for 2012; we have
already received a
number of requests. Should you wish your loved one
considered for Remembrance in this way, please
do contact us.
One of the most enjoyable and inspiring parts
of our work of Remembrance is meeting so many lovely people. We
are so pleased to have helped so many learn more of their lost
forebears, and will continue, as best we can, with all the
resources we have available. But we have also learnt so much
from the relatives and friends of our Fallen. There are so many
stories - of courage, of undying love, and even one or two
spine-tingling ones! We'll be telling more of the hidden
work we do in the next newsletter. As always, thank
you indeed to all you wonderful people who volunteer
your time to help on the Project. Such dear friends, you work so
hard on so many different tasks to help ensure that we never
forget those to whom we owe so much.
The loss of dearly loved friends and
relatives, whose lives were cut short by the most horrendous of
circumstances, is always a deeply sombre and painful thought. At
the same time, we are uplifted by their unconquered unmoveable
spirit, by their courage and the courage of those they left
behind, and by the knowledge that in the times of deepest
adversity our beliefs, thoughts, will, and determination turn to
an over-arching devotion and loyalty transcendent of any
individual. Such is the legacy they have left us, and one we
must always strive to fulfil. So many lives cut short; as we
begin this New Year, let us be thankful for our own lives and
live them to the full in honour of those who gave theirs.
With best wishes,.