THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 

war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

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Welcome to Dover's Virtual War Memorial

Patrons:

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

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

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28 November 2015

There's bad news from our friends at the Western Heights Preservation Society (WHPS). Thieves have broken into the Drop Redoubt and stolen and damaged items to the amount of over 3,000. Pictured left is some of the effect of the ransacking.

This is a horrible blow to such dedicated volunteers; they enrich the town through their preservation and opening of a unique but hidden gem of Dover and its past. Now over twelve months of fund-raising has been cancelled out in just one night - and it's uncertain whether the WHPS will be able to hold open days next year or even keep up with the maintenance. Thousands of visitors will be disappointed - and the loss is suffered by every one of us.

The Kent police are investigating; if you can help please contact them - the crime number is ZY/37547/15 - or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

photo Phil Eyden

13 November 2015

We're very sorry to say that a good friend of The Dover War Memorial Project has died. Living in Canada her special interests were our Dovorian Canadian Fallen and the many links between Dover and Canada - but she was involved in much more besides!

She preferred to remain anonymous; thus, although  her work and influence is throughout this Virtual Memorial, we have never been able to credit her by name. Now we can pay tribute. Nancy Macfarlane was an intelligent and indefatigable lady, always advising, encouraging, and supporting. She discovered information we could never have dreamt existed, persuaded people across her country to take photographs and conduct further research, reminded us of so many things we should be doing - and enabled us to do them!

We know that Nancy was involved in other memorial work in Britain too, and it's fair to say that without her help so many things could not have been achieved. But beyond all this, with her own distinct style and percipient sense of humour, Nancy became a good friend. We're thankful and honoured to have known her, and saddened at her passing.

With those she worked tirelessly to remember, may she rest in peace.

11 November 2015

On Armistice Day a service of Remembrance was held at Milton Keynes Rose. Situated in one of the many parks the Rose contains 60 pillars commemorating significant events, people, and occasions and is used for ceremonies and reflection throughout the year. It was officially launched on 11.11.11 with a single pillar marking Armistice Day.

Right, beside the Royal British Legion standard, the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire lays a wreath at the centre of the Rose.

Remembrance Sunday 2015 marked the 10th Anniversary of The Dover War Memorial Project

8 November 2015

Across the country people paid their respects to the Fallen. We were unable to be in Dover, but attended two services here. The first was at Bletchley, just outside the now well-known code-breaking centre in the Second World War, Bletchley Park. This was a large gathering, including a parade from the Park of veterans, servicefolk, cadets, and scouting, which took several minutes to pass, and the throbbing arrival of dozens of bikers who neatly ranked their motorcycles before joining the crowd.

With the new town of Milton Keynes lapping at its banks, Bow Brickhill (right) is a small village that billetted some of the Bletchley Park workers. We were welcomed to their afternoon service of Remembrance. There were just over 400 people here before the Great War; the names of eight Fallen are inscribed on the War Memorial. They have been joined by five from World War II. Thankful though were the 53 other men named on the memorial - they served and returned home from the Great War.

19 September 2015

On 24 September 2015 at 11am the War Memorial at Eythorne is to be rededicated and the new memorial rose garden blessed. The guest of honour will be our patron, Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce, KG, GCB, OBE, DL. Organised by Mr Paul Boiston, the ceremony will include a lament from a piper of the Band of the Brigade of Ghurkas and a tribute from schoolchildren of Eythorne and Elvington.

A number of new names have been added to the memorial. From the Great War are now commemorated Ernest Beer, John Berry, Weston Berry, Percy Ingram, Henry Lee, Ernest Legg, and Arthur Marsh. Dennis Burns, Ivor Denton, George Dewell, Herbert Hill, and Charles Suthers who lost their lives in the Second World War are also remembered.

right - Eythorne memorial, with the new names. Photo courtesy Paul Boiston

8 September 2015

Our good friends at the Western Heights Preservation Society will be holding their Summer Spectacular Open Day this weekend - 12 and 13 September. If you haven't been before, it's an event not to miss!

Not only the evocative Napoleonic fortifications (the hidden gem of Dover), the rightly-fames triple spiral Grand Shaft staircase, and of course spectacular views over Dover and the harbour ... but re-enactors of Napoleonic times and both World Wars, Jason Salkey (Rifleman Harris from the Sharpe TV series) and even a spectacular Napoleonic battle on the Sunday afternoon. And if all that's too much excitement - enjoy a break in the café or admiring the displays from the Dover Museum and Arts Group.

Entry is just 5 for adults, with accompanied children free. They're open between 10am and 5pm both days and can be found by the Drop Redoubt Road, Dover - CT17 9DY.

photos courtesy Phil Eyden

9 June 2015

The family news continues apace! On 6 June Maggie S-K's youngest daughter, Susannah, and Susannah's boyfriend Rob, announced that they had become engaged. Wow! (Perhaps it's no coincidence after all that this was also the anniversary of D-Day.)

Susannah is a Tudor enthusiast, and Rob arranged a special day at Hever Castle in Kent to ask the crucial question. Here they are, just a short-time after the big moment.

Congratulations to the happy pair!

photo by Rob Baker

11 April 2015

Maggie S-K is delighted to welcome another grandchild to the family. Little Lucy was born at twenty to nine in the evening on 8 April. She joins her big brother Sam and big sister Sophie. At 7lbs 13oz she'll soon be running around in the garden with them!

Here she is at 17 hours old, tucked up in the pink and blue blanket crocheted by her great-grandmother before Lucy's mum was born. The blanket has now kept six babies warm over two generations; Lucy and her siblings and Lucy's mum and aunties.

Welcome to the world!

photo by Maggie S-K

22 March 2015

For centuries people have laid down their lives for their country. Five hundred and thirty years ago, they did so in a cause that would change our history.

We're told that the only place where bodies from the Battle of Bosworth are known to be buried are at Dadlington, Leicestershire, now said to be near the heart of the battle and the place where King Richard III was killed.

Above is a view towards the battlefield. Left are flowers laid by a sign at St James' church: "In this place lie the bodies of many who died at the Battle of Bosworth, 22nd August 1485".

The remains of King Richard III, discovered in a car park at Leicester, returned to Dadlington prior to his re-interment at Leicester Cathedral. Led by two knights in armour, the cortège passed slowly by the burial place, and continued to the village green, where a small service remembered all those who had died. Some 5,000 people stood in respectful silence; children strewed white rose petals before the hearse.

Nearly all the names of those who died are now lost, as are the names of so many who served in other conflicts in our history.

Their names may be forgotten; as ever, their loss is not.

photos by Marilyn S-K and Simon John Chambers

15 February 2015

On St Valentine's Day Bletchley Park held a community day for visitors from the local area.

Here, during the Second World War, often working in hastily-constructed huts, thousands of people worked decoding messages from enemy transmissions. The work is credited with shortening the war by two or more years and saving millions of lives.

Left is a hut corridor, and Right, is a display of "Alan Turing's Room" in Hut 8.

Dr Turing is well-known for his work at Hut 8, cracking the naval Enigma code. This was crucial in the Battle of the Atlantic, as the location of U-boats could be ascertained and the convoys directed away from them. Winston Churchill was to claim that the only thing that ever frightened him during the war was the U-boat peril; he knew full well how dependent Britain was upon goods imported.

Who knows - maybe even The Dover War Memorial Project owes its existence to Dr Turing! Familiar with Liverpool, below, Maggie S-K's father  served as a merchant seaman on the Atlantic convoys (and thus was very familiar with Liverpool, below). He survived the war to bring up a family; he could easily have been one of the thousands of seamen whose lives were preserved by the codebreakers at Bletchley Park.

7 February 2015

Recently we were able to go briefly to Liverpool, a city that was second only to London in the intensity of the bombing it suffered during World War II.

Liverpool was key in the Battle of the Atlantic and of vital importance to Britain, handling millions of tons of imports without which the country could not have survived.

Like Dover, Liverpool has a "tidy ruin". This is St Luke's church, in the centre of the city, built in 1831. It was burnt out on 6 May during the May Blitz of 1941. The church and the surrounding garden were bought by the City in 1968, to become a place of peace and tranquillity, and remains a memorial to the "blitz" of Liverpool. Various exhibitions and events are now held there.

The church is beautifully illuminated at night.

We visited too the Liverpool Naval Memorial, where are commemorated three of our Dovorian casualties, and the grave of Craftsman George Myers, who is buried at Kirkdale cemetery.

Here, from 1914, the 1st Western Military Hospital, treated some of the wounded and sick servicemen who were brought home via Dover. Arriving at Aintree station they would be carried on stretchers to the hospital by volunteers from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to the hospital. Throwing the soldiers cigarettes, women and children along the streets would welcome them home.

Perhaps one of the soldiers was John Mack, brother of casualty William James Mack. Serving in the Royal Engineers, he was treated in hospital in Liverpool in 1917 for frostbite.

1 January 2015

Best wishes to everyone
for the

New Year!


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