DOVER WAR MEMORIAL PROJECT
Latest News 2016
Welcome to Dover's Virtual War Memorial
Dame Vera Lynn, CH, DBE, LL.D,
Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce, KG, GCB,
Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle
25 November 2016|
100 miles for 100 years! Screen
South, Folkestone, are holding a forum to help develop First World War
themed trails. There'll be a chance to join in for Dover on 30 November,
between 10 am and 1pm at the Town Council Offices, Maison Dieu House.
Here are some of the trails already
It's a FREE event and includes a heap of how-tos,
including how to develop a trail and guide one, collect community memories,
organise an event and an approach to historical research.
To take part, contact
or phone 01303 259777.
17 November 2016|
Dead Man's Penny. We are so pleased to
have helped reunite the family of one of our casualties with his Death
Plaque. It was discovered in a box; the owner asked a friend ... who asked
The Dover War Memorial Project if we could help.
With some detective work and the construction of a family
tree of the casualty's descendents - yes we could! We'd like to thank the
lady who asked us to help; it was a privilege to try and heart-warming to
have a casualty come home and to know that our casualty's family will once
again be able to care for and cherish his plaque.
4 November 2016|
the bells ring out! St George's Memorial Church in Ypres is filled with
commemorations of the soldiers, regiments, and battalions taking part in the
Great War in Flanders Fields. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, who also
created the Menin Gate, the church was constructed in between 1927-29 and
services and acts of Remembrance continue daily.
The tower was constructed with the strength to house a
ring of change-ringing bells, like those that can be heard across Britain on
Sundays, and in many other countries including Australia, Canada, and
USA. Over 1,200 bellringers are known to have lost their lives in the Great
War; amongst them four from the band at St Mary's, Dover.
Now a new charity hopes to raise £195,000 to install a
ring of eight bells at St George's, in honour of all who Fell. Each bell
will be cast in England and will bear a memorial inscription. Along with
this 16 Victorian handbells, previously owned by a veteran of the Great War,
will be restored for the church, and a new bellringing band established and
trained. The bells and band will become the first change-ringers in Belgium,
continuing an art dating back to the 1600s.
More information may be found at
or at www.bells4stgeorge.org.
13 October 2016|
We were recently lucky enough to be
in Wales when Poppies: Weeping Window was installed. Consisting of
several thousand ceramic poppies, it is part of the display Blood Swept
Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014 where 888,246
poppies, one for each serviceman's death, commemorated
centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. The display, and another
component Poppies: Wave, is on tour during 2016 and 2017.
The current installation is at Caernafon Castle and can
be veiwed from the terrifyingly high ramparts as well as safely from the
ground. Accompanying the exhibition is a room set aside for reflection and
remembrance where visitors may record their thoughts on postcards for
display on a remembrance wall. We left a card in memory of our Dover Fallen.
2 September 2016|
your Great War relatives!
On 12 November at Dover Library in the Discovery Centre
at the Market Square there will be a free Family History day. It
includes talks, which run from 10am to 12 noon and 12 noon to 2pm, about
life in Dover during the Great War and an introduction into how to trace
your family and the resources available at the library. There'll be displays
and a chance to talk to the experts and to learn more about future plans to
highlight the role of Dover in the First World War.
The event is part of the English Heritage Fortress Dover
project and is FREE to attend. To book a place for the talks or for further
information email FortressDover@english-heritage.org.uk or call 01304 209870.
illustration - sheltering in the caves
5 August 2016|
We're so sad to say that Maggie S-K's Uncle
Ron died on 26 July at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, aged 88. The
younger brother of Maggie's mother, he and his wife Dorne, with their
children Linda and Timmy, lived next door to Maggie throughout her
We were a railway family; like his father and
grandfathers, his uncles and great-uncles before him, Uncle Ron was a
railway engine driver - starting as an engine cleaner when he was 15. For even longer, though, Uncle Ron was the best
friend and loving husband of Dorne; they met during WWII and enjoyed nearly sixty-seven years of
happy marriage together, united always throughout, as much in tragedy as
joy. "Nonk" to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he was a lovely man, gentle and kind-hearted, with
a unique laugh - and an amazing sense of humour, complemented by a wardrobe
of comical hats, that the children of the
family, their children, and in turn their children's children adored.
It is always hard to say goodbye; it is a tragedy to say
goodbye to Uncle Ron. We will remember him with love and affection always.
We send our love and sympathies to Auntie Dorne and her family, and
remembering always Timmy and Gavin.
15 July 2016|
Look out -
spammers about! We've been
receiving recently some "failure" notices, where emails purporting to be
from The Dover War Memorial Project have been returned as undeliverable.
Knowing we hadn't sent them, we queried this with our hosting company. This
is their reply:
"It sounds like your domain is being 'spoofed' by
spammers to send email to people - there are no SMTP logs with ourselves of
this email being sent out. The email system as a technology allows anyone to
send an email with any sending address they wish. Most email servers will
check to ensure that the email genuinely originated from the presented
domain, however not all will perform this check and allow the emails to be
sent and received. Most sent in this way should be flagged as spam when
received by others, however its difficult to say how each mail service
around the world is configured. Regrettably there's no real way to prevent
this from happening due to the nature of the email system."
These emails tend to be directed at organisations,
requesting the payment of an outstanding invoice, or they have .zip files
attached. We do neither of these things, so do please be aware that if you
receive an email like this it has definitely not come from us.
We are so sad that some people should seek to take
advantage in this way.
11 June 2016|
Felicitations! We're delighted that one of our Patrons, Dame
Vera Lynn, has been been made a Member of the Order of the Companions of
Honour. This is for her services to entertainment and her charitable works.
From being voted the Forces Sweetheart in 1939 to
becoming the British exemplification of the 20th century in 2000, Dame Vera
has been beloved for decades. Born in 1917 and beginning her career at the
age of seven, as well as her renowned live performances, Dame Vera has
hosted and performed in many radio and television shows, and made three
films. Her records were in the charts since their beginning and in 2014 she
became the oldest living artest to have a record in the UK top 20. In 1952
she even became the first Briton to reach number one in the USA charts!,
Dame Vera's record of hope in the darkest days, The White
Cliffs of Dover, is said to be one of the favourite pieces of HM The Queen.
We're the post-war generation - but it's one of our favourite pieces too!
Many congratulations Dame Vera Lynn, now Companion of
On 12 April next (Tuesday) at 5pm the bell ringers at St Mary's will attempt
a quarter peal on the centenary of the death of Air
Mechanic George Saunders, RNAS.
He was one of the band of ringers at St Mary's, and one of four St Mary's
ringers who lost their lives during the Great War.
The conductor for the quarter peal will be Mike Godfrey whose father George
was great friends with George Saunders and his brother Herbert (who also
rang). It was George Saunders who introduced George Godfrey to ringing, and
thus led to Mike taking up the pastime.
Update - We're very pleased to hear that
the quarter peal of Grandsire Triples, 1260 changes, was successfully
completed. It took 48 minutes and the bells were half-muffled in
image - St Mary's circa 1908
We are very sad to say that Maggie S-K's niece Kirsti died this evening
after a long illness, which she bore with her customary courage,
determination, and good humour. Kirsti was the daughter of Maggie's brother
Michael and his wife Carole. Kirsti leaves her husband, Adam, and her son,
Daniel; we send our most sincere love and condolences to them and to her
parents, her sisters, and their families.
Born in Dover in 1974,
growing up in River, and an Old Girl of the Grammar, Kirsti
taught for a while at her alma mater, and worked too at Town Centre
Management, before moving to Salisbury. Gifted academically and
artistically, Kirsti was both a thoughtful intellectual and a talented
creative, especially in her needlework. Empathetic and caring, Kirsti's
professional career included support of families and children with extra
needs; her home was always welcoming and reflected her delightfully
off-the-wall sense of humour and outlook.
Kirsti was a unique and precious gift and the world is darker and poorer
without her. We didn't have Kirsti for long and the grief is hard and
enduring; we simply know how privileged we have been that we had her
"The people we love never go away; they live forever in our hearts."
27 January 2016|
We attended a gathering at The Rose, Campbell Park, for Holocaust
Memorial Day. Preceded by a short and moving ceremony by a few people
speaking of their individual thoughts, the main service included the Mayor
of Milton Keynes and a poem especially written by our Poet Laureate.
Right, in blustery wet weather, are some of the participants around the Holocaust column. The words on the column are taken
from the Nobel acceptance speech of survivor Elie Wiesel. "I swore never to
be silent whenever wherever human beings endure
suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the
oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
20 January 2016
Our home in Buckinghamshire may not have been in the front line in the same
way as Dover; during the whole of World War II our little town suffered only
a couple of bombs, neither of which did any damage.
There was, though, a frontline of a very different kind.
Bletchley Park, with its code-breaking, is now well known. However the whole
area was home to numerous secret operations, from black propaganda, training
and airlifting for the special operations executive, establishment and
maintenance of radar, the met office, and "the largest telephone exchange in
the world" communicating with all the Allied and secret services -
At Hughenden Manor, close to Bomber Command, was
Operation Hillside. Bombing raids in the early part of the war were often
inaccurate as the maps were out-of-date. Operation Hillside produced
innumerable maps from aerial photography. In the ice-house, above left, the
photographs were developed; in the Manor, behind, using stereoscopic
viewers, the images were drawn into maps. This not only increased the
accuracy of the raids and the safety of the bombing crews, but the tracking
of changes evident
the photographs led also to the discovery of new targets and developments.
Over 120 flying-bomb ramps were detected and destroyed thanks to Operation
Hillside - which also mapped The Berghof for an assault upon Hitler himself.
Over a hundred people were employed here yet, hidden in
wooded countryside and with hardly a military presence, there was little
sign of the vital work being done. With the slightest hint, however, this
quiet area in the shires would have soon become, like Dover, a hellfire
right, a reconstructed rest area in the
icehouse; it was warm and toasty on a freezing winter's day!
1 January 2016