THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 

war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

Latest News 2011

Welcome to Dover's Virtual War Memorial

Patrons:

Dame Vera Lynn, DBE, LL.D, M.Mus

Admiral the Lord Boyce, KG, GCB, OBE, DL
Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle

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in and by Dover

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30 November 2011. The Unknown Warrior Exhibition
The exhibition is now at the Parish Church of SS Peter and Paul, in the mediaeval village of Lavenham, Suffolk. Lavenham is the home of artist Jonathan Boast, who, with Dover Scouts and Brownies, created the stained-glass window in honour of the Unknown Warrior.

This is the last venue for the originally-scheduled year-long tour of the Unknown Warrior exhibition; however it is still much in demand and in the New Year will be returning to Dover for display in Astor College of the Arts.

21 November 2011. Talk at The Dover Society
We were greatly honoured to be invited to talk to the Dover Society about The Dover War Memorial Project.

In the 40 minutes allotted we talked about many of the things the volunteers of the DWMP do in Remembrance of our Fallen - and with a seasonal note also about the place of our little town of Dover in the history of Christmas. 

Thank you, Dover Society, for being such a grand audience!photo Mike Webb

13 November 2011. Remembrance Sunday
In beautiful sunshine (by contrast to last year, when the rain was torrential!), The Dover War Memorial Project wreath was laid at our Town Memorial by volunteers Joyce and Brian Banks .


photo Mike Webb

11 November 2011. The Unknown Warrior Exhibition
The exhibition finished its time at the Port of Dover, close to where the Unknown Warrior came home, at the Marine Station Remembrance Service on 8 November 2011.

Always a moving beautiful service, it's rendered more poignant as this is the time the British Torch of Remembrance, lit at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, leaves our shores to travel to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels.

The exhibition is now installed at St Edmundsbury cathedral, Bury St Edmunds (right) for Armistice Day and Remembrance services.

1 October 2011. A Service of Dedication at Highley, Shropshire
This service, by the Stanier 8F Locomotive Society and the Severn Valley Railway, dedicated new rolls of honour to the railwaymen of the Corps of Royal Engineers, with information panels about the Corps in Victorian and World War times. Amongst those remembered were the casualties of the Longmoor Military Railway Disaster in 1956. We're constructing a memorial entry here, and a report will appear in the Winter edition of "From the Front".

Right - the Royal Engineers Memorial Locomotive No 48773

30 September 2011. "From the Front"

The latest edition is out now. Contents include the Battle of Britain Memorial Service, the 90th Anniversary Memorial service at the Dover Patrol Memorial, and an article about Prisoners of War in England.

And finally ... we're in true revolutionary mode! Is this the end of nine-to-five as we know it?

"From the Front" will tell you! 

28 September 2011. "Remember: Commemorating our Fallen"
Newly-installed in Dover library is the exhibition for Remembrance this year from The Dover War Memorial Project. Entitled "Remember: Commemorating our Fallen" it tells the story of the figure of Youth on our Town Memorial.

There are some six copies of the figure in existence. The first was designed in 1908, as the centrepiece of a fountain in Dunfermline.

To learn more, visit the library or follow these links  "Wee Willie" and "Richard Reginald Goulden".

2 September 2011. Merchant Navy Memorial Service
Celebrating its tenth year in Dover, the memorial service took place in the Town Hall, followed by a further service of wreath-laying at the Merchant Navy memorial on the seafront at Dover.

Left, with the standard bearers on the steps of the Town Hall, just prior to the service, are Cllr Sue Nicholas, Chairwoman of Dover District Council, and Donald Hunter, Chairman of the Kent Branch of the Merchant Navy Association. With the support of Dover District Council, Don worked tirelessly to bring the service and the memorial to Dover. Behind them is Parade Marshall Dick Liggett.  

14 August 2011. The Unknown Warrior Exhibition Comes Home
The six panels of the exhibition and the Unknown Warrior window are now installed at the Port of Dover. They're in the departure lounge for cruise passengers, overlooking the former Marine Station (right) and the large  war memorial erected there for the Fallen of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. 

The exhibition will remain at the Port  until the public Remembrance Service in November on the Marine Station - the very place where the Unknown Warrior's body departed for London and for burial at Westminster Abbey over 90 years ago.

25 July 2011. The Unknown Warrior Exhibition in Folkestone
The exhibition is now installed at The Grand Hotel, The Leas, Folkestone, where it will remain until 13 August 2011. It then moves to the Port of Dover.

The exhibition is free and may be viewed at any reasonable time. It accompanies Step Short's March of Commemoration down the Road of Remembrance, Folkestone,  on 7 August, with assembly beginning from 10 am outside The Grand.

Right are Cllr Ann Berry of Step Short, Michael Stanier, owner of The Grand, and Marilyn Stephenson-Knight of The Dover War Memorial Project 

24 July 2011. The 90th Anniversary - The Dover Patrol Memorial, Leathercote Point
On 27 July 1921 the memorial for the Dover Patrol was dedicated at Leathercote Point; there are two other such memorials, at Cap Gris Nez and New York.

The Dover Patrol was an assembly of vessels and aircraft operating in the Straits of Dover and the North Sea during the Great War. Its functions included patrols, mine-sweeping, escort, raids, and building a barrage; over 2,000 men were lost during its operations.

The 90th Anniversary service was attended by by Lord de L'Isle and Admiral the Lord Boyce, who inspected the parade.

10 July 2011. The Battle of Britain Memorial Service at Capel-le-Ferne
During one of the rare sunny days this summer, the BoB Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne held the service for the 71st Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Left are some of the many guests spotting the names of our Few on the memorial wall after the service. Amongst the veterans present was William Walker, author of the poem "Our Wall", inscribed by the memorial. The service was bracketed by aerial displays from a Spitfire and a Hurricane.

6 July 2011. Graduation!
Congratulations to Susannah, Maggie S-K's youngest daughter, who has graduated from Reading University as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy.

As one of her fellow graduates said, "Is that your mum over there with the big hat ... competing for the Proud Mum of the Year Award?"

Well, quite.

Well done, Susannah!

2 July 2011. The Allied Memorial Remembrance Ride
Bikers from three nations rode together, in memory of the Fallen from the Allied forces.

In the USA the American Legion Riders rode in Texas, to the RAF Memorial at Terrell, and in Oklahoma, to the RAF Memorials in Ponca City, with a service at the RAF Memorial in Miami, and to the RAF Memorial in Mesa, Arizona. In Canada the Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders rode in Ottowa, to the Commonwealth Air Force Memorial on Green Island. In the UK, we attended the service at the American Cemetery at Madingley, Cambridgeshire; around a thousand riders took part, led by the Royal British Legion (Riders Branch).

The cemetery is the only World War II American cemetery in the UK, and contains 3,812 burials, with another 5,127 servicemen commemorated on the memorial wall. The burials are fewer than half those who died here on service; many were repatriated.

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19 June 2011. Doris Margaret Bowley
We are very sorry to announce that Doris Bowley, née Easton, died on 10 June 2011, after a short illness.

Born on 23 May 1924, Doris was the great-niece of casualties Harry and Eddie Crascall, and cousin of William Gatehouse. She was Maggie S-K's aunt. She will be greatly and deeply missed.

Right is Doris, pictured as Cinderella in a Dover Harbour Board production of 1952

9 June 2011. Operation Dynamo
Maggie and Simon were pleased and delighted to hear they had been nominated as "unsung heroes" and won a special preview tour of the new exhibition at Dover Castle. Situated in the secret war-time tunnels, the exhibition remembers the evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940 through a variety of media including panoramic audio visuals.

The exhibition was opened by Heritage and Tourism Minister John Penrose, in the presence of Major General Charles Ramsay, son of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, the architect of Operation Dynamo.

Our tour, with our invited guests, finished with a reception - no war-time rationing here, and the date-and-walnut cake was delicious!
(left, image of Sir Winston Churchill, from the invitation) 

24 May 2011. A Talk on the Seafront
The Dover War Memorial Project was honoured by an invitation to give an after-lunch talk to the Rotary Club of Deal. It's a most appropriate place to begin a talk on The Dover War Memorial Project, as the event that was part of the beginning of The Dover War Memorial Project had a huge impact on Deal too.

On 22 September 1914 three armoured cruisers, Aboukir, Hogue, and Cressy were sunk in the North Sea by an enemy submarine. 1,459  men lost their lives. Amongst them were many from Deal and Dover, including Maggie's great uncle, Harry Crascall. It was her research into the two Crascalls commemorated on Dover Town Memorial that led Maggie and Simon to learn about the other men commemorated there - and so The Dover War Memorial Project was born.

Above is Maggie with Deal Rotary Club President Howard Binsted. Thank you, Rotarians, for the invitation and the hospitality at Dunkerley's in Deal - and the bread and butter pudding is to be recommended!

23 May 2011. Winter Warmers
We offer our grateful thanks to the Campaign for Real Ale, the Deal, Dover, Sandwich, and District branch, who very kindly adopted again this year The Dover War Memorial Project as their good cause. They donated the proceeds from their White Cliffs Beer Festival, held each February in the Town Hall in Dover, at a special presentation evening at Blake's in Castle Street, Dover. On the left are volunteers  for the Dover War Memorial Project Joyce and Brian Banks, with Simon and Maggie and members of CAMRA-DDS Martin Atkinson and Dave Green. .

Last year CAMRA-DDS were lifesavers for The Dover War Memorial Project. We rely entirely upon donations to be able to continue, and we were down to the last few pounds. A kind donation from CAMRA-DDS from l;ast year's White Cliffs Beer Festival enabled us to continue, and to do the work and research necessary to gain a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to teach, with our partners, hundreds of young people across Kent and in London about the Unknown Warrior during the 90th anniversary of his home-coming. Thank you indeed, CAMRA-DDS - you have benefited so many!

16 May 2011. Lifesavers!
People who know all about service to others are the firefighters. Last Christmas the firefighters from Deal Fire Station raised funds for five different charities and good causes, and very kindly chose The Dover War Memorial Project to be one of them. Left to right in the picture are Ollie Waters, Simon John Chambers, David Potter, the manager of Red Watch, Jaimie Dodd, and Rob Taylor. 

Thank you. Several firefighters and firewatchers lost their lives protecting Dover and Deal and their citizens during the terrible bombardments of the wars – and firefighters still continue to put their lives on the line for us today. We remember all our local heroes and heroines, and we very much appreciate this superb donation from the Firefighters at Deal, which will help ensure that all those who lost their lives in our service, whether at home or overseas, will never be forgotten. 

12 May 2011. A Promise Kept
Councillor Gordon Cowan of Kent County Council promised last year that he would support The Dover War Memorial Project. We were thrilled when he made an award to the Project from his individual councillor grants allocation. On the left are Simon and Maggie of The Dover War Memorial Project with Cllr Cowan; the photo is by Mike Webb.

Cllr Cowan said, "Remembrance is essential; and it’s a powerful personal and public response; each year there is a growing number of people attending the Remembrance ceremony arranged by the Town Council at the Town Memorial, and I am sure this is due in no small part to the raising of awareness through The Dover War Memorial Project. I am very pleased to be able to help them as they help so many others, in Remembrance of those who sacrificed themselves for us."

It is a great privilege to run The Dover War Memorial Project in their honour and memory and in trust to the families who to this day mourn their loss. We'd like to thank sincerely and whole heartedly Cllr. Cowan, whose award will make so much difference.

11 May 2011. New Patron for The Dover War Memorial Project
We are absolutely delighted to be able to announce that Admiral the Lord Boyce  KG, GCB, OBE, DL, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle, has most graciously chosen to join Dame Vera Lynn as Patron of The Dover War Memorial Project.

Admiral the Lord Boyce stated, "The volunteers who run The Dover War Memorial Project are to be applauded, since they help to remind us of the significance of Remembrance, and for involving so many children in their recent activities. The next generation is key to our future, and The Dover War Memorial Project is doing so much to help teach the meaning of respect and selfless service to others."

Thank you! We will never forget those who gave all they could, and in memory of our Fallen we are both delighted and very moved by this immense honour.

We would also like to offer our most sincere congratulations and best wishes to Admiral the Lord Boyce, who will be formally invested on 13 June as Knight of the Garter by HM the Queen

10 May 2011. The Unknown Warrior
The educational resources are now available online  here. The significance of the Unknown Warrior is revealed through the stories of six casualties from the Great War, and their families.

The pack is suitable for Key Stage 2, and contains many activities and exercises. Hard copies are being distributed to schools in the Dover area by The Dover War Memorial Project, and in other selected areas by The City of Westminster Archives.

The file is 9MB, in pdf format.

8th May to 14th May 2011. This is ME awareness week. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome is a disabling conditions, characterised by unremitting exhaustion,  muscle cramps, and severe difficulty in thinking and concentrating. There is a host of other disabling symptoms too, and sufferers can be affected in many different ways, with symptoms varying even according to the time of day.

It's a neurological condition, but there is no test to diagnose it and sufferers are often faced with disbelief. It is hard to obtain help and support, and now funding cuts threaten the few treatment centres and specialist there are. Research is desperately needed to help over 250,000 people, including 25,000 children, with the condition - and to help ensure that others do not acquire it. Anyone is vulnerable and there is no cure.

Discover more at the Association for Young People with ME or Action for ME. or The ME Association

5th May 2011. With sadness we learn that Claude Choules has passed away. He was the last surviving combat veteran of the Great War. He was born in Worcestershire, and died in a retirement home in Perth, Australia, at the age of 110.

He said that if he were to live his life again, he would do exactly the same. What a tribute to him and to his family, and what a tribute too in memory of all those who had very little life at all.

Let us forever be thankful for our own lives, and live them to the most fulfilled, in memory and honour of those who did not come home, or whose lives were shattered forever.

May Claude Choules now Rest in Peace.

5th May 2011. In honour of the Royal Wedding, The Dover War Memorial Project created a new exhibition entitled "Love Stories: A Day to Remember".

Part of the exhibition is now on display at Dover Library, with six photographs recalling the wedding days of Dovorians, from 1911 to 1938. Each of the families in the exhibition has a war-time story to tell.

The full exhibition was previously on display at “Brides of Faversham”, in Castle Street, Dover, helping to raise funds for this year’s 90th Anniversary of the Royal British Legion commemorations.

27th April 2011. Thieves have stolen one of the plaques from the River, Dover, War Memorial.  The World War II plaque was placed on the memorial at the millennium, after research and fund-raising for the £1,200 necessary. The plaque was made from brass, and it is believed it was stolen for its scrap value.

Amongst those commemorated on the plaque was Keith Gillman, the iconic Face of The Few.

It is a great shame when those who gave all they could, until they had nothing left to give, should then have even their names stolen by the generation for whom they died.

Right and above - the missing plaque.

27th April 2011.The annual commemoration of the Zeebrugge raid was again held on 23rd April, St George's Day. Attenders were privileged this year to be joined by the Koninklijke Scoutsharmonie, 68 members of the Royal Scouts band from Brugge, along with the dignitaries from Brugge.

The day was bright and sunny at St James' cemetery, where many casualties are buried, and the ceremony was followed by a further commemoration outside the Town Hall, where the Mayor rang eight bells on the Zeebrugge bell, and a reception at the Town Council offices 

15th April 2011. AVG users may have noticed something nasty in the undergrowth - a warning from their anti-virus when attempting to access The Dover War Memorial Project website.

Fear Not! This warning has been generated for other sites using the same host as we do. It's a false positive, which AVG intend to correct as soon as possible.

As they said in the 1940s  > > > > > > >

14 April 2011. The Unknown Warrior exhibition has now moved from the Royal Engineers Museum at Chatham to the Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich. Firepower, the RA Museum, is open from Wednesdays till Sundays, 10.30 to  5.00 (and open every day during school holidays).

The exhibition is displayed amongst the Great War guns in the history gallery - and look out, because every now and then the sound of a whizzbang goes over your head!  Other highlights of the museum include the gun carriage on which the Unknown Warrior made his final journey to Westminster Abbey from Victoria, and the guns from which Victoria Crosses are made.

Thank you very much to the Royal Engineers Museum for hosting the exhibition so well for the last three months, and thank you too to our new hosts, Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum. We hope lots of visitors will enjoy all the exhibits!

6 April 2011. The Unknown Warrior educational resources are now available and are being distributed to schools and other relevant bodies. They are part of the commemorations for the 90th Anniversary of the homecoming of the Unknown Warrior, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and created and delivered by The Dover War Memorial Project, The City of Westminster Archives, and Westminster Abbey.

The booklet comprises 60 pages, and is filled with information and activities for young people. Amongst the casualties featured are Dovorians Tommy Eaves and Cecil Bromley, who both lost their lives in 1916. For further information do please contact us

10 March 2011. The Dover War Memorial Project has been greatly honoured to receive Friends of the Legion Awards from the Royal British Legion, County of Kent.  The awards are for outstanding help and service to the Legion over a sustained period; Simon and Maggie received the awards for their work on Remembrance and with the families and friends of the Fallen.

Admiral the Lord Boyce, Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle, presented on behalf of the British Legion the awards at a ceremony at Dover District Council. Amongst those present were Mr Keith Atkinson, representing the RBL, County of Kent, and Col Mike Martin, President of the Down's Branch, RBL. The presentation was hosted by Cllr Bernie Butcher, Chairman of Dover District Council.

picture left to right, Keith Atkinson, Simon Chambers, Cllr Bernie Butcher, Marilyn Stephenson-Knight, Admiral the Lord Boyce
photo by Mike Webb

10 March 2011 After over five years as Town Clerk at Dover Town Council, Maggie's brother, Michael Webb has hung up his wig and taken a well-deserved retirement. He had a grand send-off from all the councillors and staff, who hosted surprise parties.

We suspect his retirement will be active; Mike mentioned he'd like to do more with The Dover War Memorial Project now he is a free man - and Maggie already has a list of jobs as long as her arm!

7 March 2011 We are proud and thrilled to announce that Marilyn Stephenson-Knight was honoured by a Civic Award,  presented by the Right Worshipful the Town Mayor of Dover, Cllr Mrs Sue Jones, for her work with The Dover War Memorial Project.

Modesty precludes the quoting of the full citation, which was read by Mr Vic Matcham. He emphasised, however Maggie's thanks to Simon John Chambers, co-partner in the Dover War Memorial Project, and to the many other volunteers who help. Most welcome amongst the guests were the volunteers, including several who have supported the DWMP from the beginning, on Remembrance Sunday 2005.

16 February 2011. Dover Town Council recently launched a competition to choose a new iconic photograph for the the banner on their website.

We're delighted and honoured to say that following judging by Dame Vera Lynn, who will be forever associated with our white cliffs, that one of the photographs taken by Simon John Chambers, of The Dover War Memorial Project, was chosen.

Simon has thousands of photographs in his Project archive. This one was taken in September 2010, from the Prince of Wales pier, one of many Simon took while working on the Unknown Warrior 90th Anniversary commemoration.  To see the banner in place, click here  - Dover Town Council

Congratulations, Simon!

13 January 2011. The exhibition and the stained-glass window for the 90th Anniversary of the Unknown Warrior's homecoming are now on display at the Royal Engineers' Museum, Gillingham.

The museum is in Prince Arthur Road, and is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holiday Mondays from 11.30 am to 5 pm. The display will be there until 11th April, when it will move to the Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich. 

13 January 2011 The latest edition of "From the Front", the Dover War Memorial Project quarterly e-newsletter, is now available online.

There's an extended report about the 90th Anniversary of the Unknown Warrior's homecoming, along with many other commemorations at home and abroad over Remembrance.  With a Christmas carol written  with our Patron, Dame Vera Lynn, in mind, and an account of Simon's new world record, it's one not to miss! Click here to read (.pdf format)..

Let us know if you'd like to be added to the e-newsletter mailing list.

wreath 2006, by Simon ChambersDear All,

Welcome to a New Year of Remembrance, as we honour the memories of those people from our frontline town, Dover, Kent, who lost their lives in the two world wars of the 20th century, and later conflicts.  

It was busy last year! We marked the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and of the evacuation of our children from Dover and the surrounding areas. It was also the 90th anniversary of the home-coming of the Unknown Warrior, and we were delighted to be given a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to commemorate this with young peole across Kent and London. Thank you so much to all those who participated and helped, and to our partners at the City of Westminster Archives and Westminster Abbey.

An innovation last year was the e-newsletter, produced quarterly. The latest edition, for Winter 2010, is now available. There’s a full report about the Unknown Warrior commemorations, along with many other reports on Remembrance of Dovorians at home and abroad – and if you want to know how Simon achieved joined the Club of Heroic Failures by achieving a new International Championships World record … well, the latest newsletter will tell you that too. We all can shine at something! Contact us if you’d like to receive the e-newsletter every quarter.   

The most wonderful news we save till last. We are so very proud to have been able to announce in November 2010 that Dame Vera Lynn most graciously agreed to become our Patron. Internationally-renowned, beginning her career at the age of seven in 1924 and a record-breaker herself by becoming in 2009 the oldest living artist with a top twenty album, Dame Vera was The Forces Sweetheart during World War II, and will be forever associated with our town through her legendary song “The White Cliffs of Dover”.  Thank you, Dame Vera, for bringing such a unique and precious piece of home to the memory of our Dovorian Fallen, who never saw home again.

Thank you to you all, who never forget those who gave all they could.

With best wishes,

S-K logo, a registered trademark, a knight in armour riding Stephenson's Rocket

Maggie
(Marilyn Stephenson-Knight)

January 2011

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