war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper





Walter Tull


STOP PRESS! The Exhibition is moving - from 8th July it'll be at The Grand Hotel, on The Leas at Folkestone, Kent

In Dover Library from 11th May until 25th June 2009 are the panels from the Walter Tull exhibition. Since September 2008 they've been displayed in various prestigious venues in Britain - The National Army Museum, The National Football Museum, Methodist Central Hall, and The Scottish Football Museum ... and now it's Dover's turn!

Walter Tull is famed as the first black outfield professional football player in this country and the first black officer in the British Army. Sadly, he lost his life during the Great War. Walter is remembered on two memorials in Dover - the Town Memorial outside Maison Dieu House, and the Parish Memorial at River. He's also named on a scroll in River church.

Walter's mother was born in Dover, and his sisters and step-parents lived in the town for many years after his death. (For more about Walter's local connections see here and here). Walter's family  requested his name should be on the Dover memorials, and they attended the unveiling ceremonies, laying wreaths to their lost loved stepson and brother.

In 2008, the 90th anniversary year of the Armistice and the 120th anniversary of Walter Tull's birth and the 90th of his death, a year-long initiative to raise awareness and celebrate the life of Walter Tull was led by the City of Westminster Archives, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. From schoolchildren to pensioners, people across the country (including Dover) participated in art workshops, drama, and animation workshops and discussion groups.

The commemorations culminated with the launch of the touring exhibition at Methodist Central Hall, along with downloadable educational resources for teachers and young people, available from www.crossingthewhiteline.com  You can see more of the launch and scenes from  the specially-written musical here and the following day's visit to Westminster Abbey and the tomb of the Unknown Warrior here.

Here's how to see the exhibition for yourself.

From 11th May to 29th June 2009

The Walter Tull Exhibition is at:

Dover Library,
The Dover Discovery Centre,
Market Square,
CT16 1PH.

Opening hours are:
9 - 6
9 - 6
9 - 8
9 - 6
9 - 6
9 - 5
not 25 May

Admission is free

From 8th July to end July the Walter Tull Exhibition will be at
The Grand Hotel, The Leas, Folkestone, Kent

While you're in the library, have a look through the gallery windows at the famed Classis Britannica fort, the headquarters of the Roman fleet in Britain. Oh, and if you're a Dovorian, you may well spot some familiar faces on one of the panels of the Walter Tull exhibition!

Walter Tull Exhibition at the National Army Museum, courtesy Crossing the White Line
River church and memorial
Dover War Memorial at Maison Dieu House

Copyright 2009 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved