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Four in April. Folkestone Embarkations. #FWW.

All of the four men in this blog embarked from Folkestone during the First World War. Each little biography dates from a different year. There is one from each year soldiers embarked from Folkestone. The only other connection is the month of April.

William Holland may have been the first soldier who embarked from Folkestone to die on the Western Front.

No. 2245 Private William Holland
Killed in Action 8th April 1915

The entry for the 8th April 1915 in the 1st Buckinghamshire, Battalion Oxford shire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, gives the location of it’s companies undergoing training by 12th Brigade 4th Division. A company is undergoing instruction, that night, by the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. B Company, by the 2nd Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment. C Company by the 2nd Battalion the Essex Regiment. D Company by the 1st Battalion the King’s Own (Lancashire) Regiment in billets and the Royal Engineers in the rear trenches. One man, in D Company, is recorded as being wounded and dying later of his wounds.
There is only one man from the 1st/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as dying that day. He is Private William Holland. William Holland is also thought to be the first soldier who crossed from Folkestone to die on the Western Front in the Great War.. He was the son of Charles and Ann Jemima Holland of 13 Chicheley Street Newport Pagnell Buckinghamshire. Private William Holland is buried in strand Military Cemetery, south of Leper (Ypres), and commemorated on the Newport Pagnell War Memorial. He was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Embarked at Folkestone on the 10th April 1916.

Private 27752 James Grant, Royal Scots. James was born at 13 South Street, Grantown-on-Spey, on the 17th June 1886. He worked as a mason. He enlisted on the 7th January 1916. James was part of 15th Reinforcements for the 11th Battalion Royal Scots. While at 9 Infantry Base Depot he is awarded 14 days Field Punishment No.1 and forfeits two days pay for being absent from draft. Joins the (11th?) battalion in the field on the 20th May. Under arrest from the 16th September to the 1st October. He is sentence to two years Hard Labour for using insubordinate language to a superior officer and striking a person in whose custody he was. placed. Sentence suspended by General Officer Commanding 4th Army on the 13th October.. Admitted to 45 casualty Clearing Station on the 18th October with pyrexia of unknown origin. Because of this he is transferred back to England in November. He returns to France in April 1917 as part of the 67th Reinforcement draft to the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots. 3rd May he is wounded in action. Under arrest from 25th August to the 3rd September. On the 4th, he is tried by Field General Courts Martial for a Civil Offence. “That is to say, shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm feloniously unlawfully discharging a loaded rifle.” He is sentenced to two years Hard Labour. Taken to Prison on the 30th. On the 24th September 1918 he is released and rejoins his battalion. The balance of his sentence suspended. Wounded in action a few days later on the 28th. James the son of William and Jane Grant died of wounds on the 18th October 1918. He is buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte, Pas de Calais, France. His death was reported in the Strathspey Herald on the 24th October 1918. (as reproduced in Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey)
“Died of Wounds”
“ Mr Wm Grant, mason, South Street, is mourning the loss of another member of his family, his eldest son James, who was in the Royal Scots, having succumbed to wounds. A brother was previously killed in action, another was recently discharged from the Army and the youngest son serving in the Navy. Mr Grant’s son-in-law, Private W. Little, Canadians is reportedly killed in action.”


Embarked on April 5th 1917

Private 2893 Robert Alexander Gamble, Australian Imperial Force. Part of 7th Reinforcements 60th Battalion. Joined 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples on the 7th. Taken on strength 60 Battalion in the Field on the 15th, Born in Washington, USA. Roberts parents are Alexander John and Margaret Jane Gamble, of “Ellersley,” Queen St., Concord West, Sydney, Australia. He is regarded as a Native of Inverell in New South Wales. He enlists on the 25th September 1916. Robert embarks from Sydney on the A19 “Afric” on the 3rd November 1916. Arriving at Plymouth England on the 9th January 1917 and joins the 15th Training Battalion at Hurdcott. While on board ship he is charged with stealing bread and given 7 Days detention. Shortly after joining the 15th Training Battalion he hesitates to obey an order from a NCO and forfeits 4 days pay. After joining the 60th Battalion in July 1917, Robert attend a Pigeon Course for three days. He is wounded in the left leg and right arm on the 25th September and dies of wounds on the 26th. Robert Alexander Gamble is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. The epitaph on his gravestone reads.

Embarked 5th April 1918.

Charles Edward Ibbetson
West Yorkshire Regiment

Charles Edward Ibbetson attested just before his 18th birthday on the 7th August 1917. At first he is posted to the reserves and not mobilised until the 13th September 1917. arriving at the 6th Young soldier Battalion at Rugely. On his Army Form B 103 this is recorded as “Posted to 6th T.R.B. Rugely” At Brocton he is transferred to the 51st Graduated Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, on the 11th February 1918. He is posted to France and embarks from Folkestone on the 5th April 1918. His first week in France is at “E” Infantry Brigade Depot, Etaples. Posted to the 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment he joins them in the Field on the 13th. On the 28th July Charles is wounded in action, a Shot Gun Wound to the right thigh. At first he is admitted to 48 Casualty Clearing Station From there he is sent to 8 General Hospital and on the 17th August back to England. Charles Edward Ibbetson is discharged as “No Longer Physically Fit for War Service” on the 28th February 1919.

Featured post

#Folkestone/Shorncliffe, and the American Connection #FWW

This is a repost. The Grass was slightly greener than it is today. The nine all have connections to the USA and are all listed in “The Foreign Burial of American War Dead” By Chris Dickon, I only received a copy of the publication after I had posted the original blog.


Much has been written about the Canadian connection with Folkestone during the Great War. the connection is still commemorated every year on the 1st of July in a touching ceremony at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. The Shorncliffe Trust is also doing sterling work promoting the links between Shorncliffe and Canada.

The links with Canada’s southern neighbour are rarely mentioned. Indeed it is difficult to find any acknowledgement that there was an American connection.

John, “Black Jack” Pershing the Commander of the American Expeditionary Force, (A.E.F.) traveled through Folkestone on his way to France. Also remembered for not saying “Lafayette we are here”. With him was Charles Stanton, chiefly not remembered for his famous remark,  “Nous voila, Lafayette“.

Americans also stayed at No.3 Rest Camp on the Leas before marching down Slope Road to the harbour and the ships waiting to take them to France. Two soldiers from the United states 11th Engineering Regiment (Railways) who were to become the first casualties from the A.E.F. were at the rest camp on the Leas. There is also another almost forgotten connection with the United States.

The United States is well known for the respect Americans pay to their war dead. American Great War Cemeteries are impressive places. They are very proud of the role their soldiers played. Yet there is a lost almost forgotten army of American dead. Those that fought in other nations uniforms. They are buried in cemeteries all over the world and ignored by Americans. For some the connection to the United States begs the question of, how do we define nationality, and does it matter? Others there is no doubt of their nationality. These are the Folkestone/Shorncliffe dead with an American connection. All are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery, all are listed in The Foreign Burial of American War Dead by Chris Dickon.

James Desmond McNulty                             IMG_8054Born in Valley City, North Dakota. killed in the Air Raid 25th May 1917


John Lucius Rumsdell                                                                                                                                       IMG_8051The husband of Letitia M Ramsdell, Brooklyn New York.

George Bates

IMG_8049Son of Norman and Sally Bates of Arkansas. Served in Mexico, presumably with the US Army. Married and lived with his wife in Vancouver. After his enlistment his wife moved to North Wales.

David Gordon, died of wounds received in France.                                                                                                                                                     IMG_8047

Born in Belfast, he was the son of James Gordon of 1 Bunker Hill Court, Charleston, West Virginia.

Ottawa GladmanIMG_8046

Born in Canada, and lived in Chicago. Died of Meningitis.

Charley HansonIMG_8045

Born in Norway, lived in Saskatchewan, married to Caroline Hanson of Fairchild Wisconsin, USA. Dad to six children. Charley had arrived in England on the SS Scandinavian. on the 5th February 1917. He died from illness.

David Gray


Married to Annie Gray of Detroit, Michigan. Wounded on the Somme, he died at Manor Court Hospital, Folkestone.

Bert Arbuckle                                                                                                                                                     IMG_8043

Born in Indiana. Injured in the air raid on the 25th May 1917, he died of wounds the next day.

George Wheeler Armstrong.IMG_8042An American Eagle of the First World War. lots of references to the Americans who flew in the Lafayette Escadrille, few for those who flew with the RAF during the war. Born in the US Virgin Islands. Died in an accident while flying a Bristol F2b.

All nine were fighting for Britain, and it is only important to remember that, and them. When push comes to shove, and you need a helping hand, where people are from doesn’t matter one iota.



Odds and sods about embarkations from Folkestone.

Here are a few little bits of information about those who embarked. Chaucer 600 years ago told us what they looked like and what they did. A lover and a lively bachelor,

With locks curled as if they had been laid in a curler.

He was twenty years of age, I guess.

Of his stature he was of moderate height,

And wonderfully agile, and of great strength.

And he had been for a time on a cavalry expedition

In Flanders, in Artois, and Picardy,

(Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer) Quite a few people who should be better known embarked from Folkestone in 1914. Flora Sands, L.J. Austin F.R.C.S. with one of the first Belgium red Cross Units, Clarence V. Mitchell who published a book about his experiences, Richard Norton American Red Cross, Glennis Biglow who wrote a book. Doctor Rose, Colin Heerle and, Ernest Percy Bicknell of The Rockefeller Foundation These embarked before Folkestone became a Military Port. Folkestone achieved the status of a Military Port at the end of March 1915. The first British units, HQ 48th Division

Head Quarters 145 Brigade (1/1st South Midland Brigade)

1/5th Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment, Territorial Force Part of South Midland Brigade in (South Midland) 48th Division. The battalion sailed on the S.S.Invicta. They embarked at Folkestone at 9 pm. They arrived at Boulogne at 10.15 pm.

1/4th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Territorial Force. Part of the South Midland Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Division. The battalion sailed on the S.S. Onward, embarking at 11 pm. they arrived in Boulogne at 2.50 am. on 30th March. However, a group of service men, approximately 100 in number, embarked from Folkestone on the 15th of February 1915. They were bound for Flushing in the Netherlands. A Prisoner of War exchange had been arranged. These servicemen were seriously wounded and or incapacitated German Servicemen who were due to be exchanged for their British equivalents.

#Shorncliffe A Guide to the Canadians. Work in progress.

This is a work in progress. No guarantees about the roads, how safe any walking is anything, including how aromatic the sea is. It is entirely at your own risk. Also check a map first.

Canadian Infantry arrived in Shorncliffe Garrison at West Sandling Station.

From there they marched along West Sandling Road to their Camps. The Where West Sandling Road meets the A20 turn right. The field on the Right is where one of the Barracks was situated. On the first Route March for the 19th Battalion, they marched from their Barracks to Beachborough Park. Follow the A20 heading to Folkestone to the Roundabout and take the first exit to Etchinghill. The House is on the left-hand side down a private road just before Etchinghill. Beachborough was later to become the Canadian V.A. D. Hospital.

Before you reach the Roundabout, you will, pass a cottage, just after this cottage on the left is Blue House Lane. Then also on the left is another cottage. This might have been a Canadian Post Office in WW1. To the right of the cottage is the site of another camp. We know this from OS Maps from the 1920s. On the right is another lane. Known as “Sandy Lane” If you stop here, you will see a small Memorial to the units that were based here and socialised in the club that was also here during the war. Looking to the north and the ridge you can see a concrete radio tower. To the left of the tower is the area Canadians Dug trenches. The remains of trenches can still be seen, once you get your eyes adjusted. A good web site for more information is, https://www.saltwoodkent.co.uk/ww1-sandling-camps. Although I would go up to the tower via Westfield Lane in Etchinghill. and keep the tower on my right walk to the training area from there. Stopping at the triangulation point just for the view.

Also at Etchinghill on the righthand side after Westfield lane is the gable end of a chapel. This is the only surviving part of the Canadian V.D. Hospital. Sometimes referred to as ” Etchighill Convalescent Hospital”. This hospital is one of the reasons we know Canadians enjoyed their stay in this part of Kent.

Back to the roundabout. From the Camps the Canadians marched to Folkestone harbour along Cheriton High Street. Taking the Cheriton/Folkestone exit. (First Exit from the Etchinghill direction, Straight on from the Camps we can joined the High Stret just after crossing over the M20, head for Folkestone. We are now back on the route the Canadians took. At the traffic lights turn right down Risborough Lane This joins on to the Military Road. Keep on this road until you reach Sandgate, turn left. For a short distance we leave the direct route the Canadians took. Turn right down Lister road and left on to the Riviera and along Radnor Cliff to the Lower Sandgate Road. It is walking from here. Honest it is not that far and there are places you can sit and if the cafe is open get some refreshment. Wal along Lower Sandgate Road past the Leas Lift to Marine Cresent. The door you can see at this end of the Cresent was the entrance to the Canadian Officers Rest Camp. The main part of the Cresent was the Canadian Soldiers Rest Camp. Walk along Marine Parade to the Harbour where the Canadians embarked.

Two options from the Harbour. Walk back along Lower Sandgate Road to your car. or up through the town to the bus station and take the bus back to Sandgate. (I’d rather the walk)

Canada Day at Shorncliffe.

The following are just a few of the Canadians buried at Shorncliffe.

The first two’s graves are now lost. There are over 300 Canadian graves from the FWW, a few from WW2 so it is not possible to list them all here.

William Whitehead, age 18. 100th Regiment (Canadians) buried in Grave number 59 on the 1st December 1858. Burial Ceremony performed by Reverend J. D’arcy Preston, Assistant Chaplin to the Forces.

Private George Milliner, 100th Regiment Royal Canadians, age 18. Buried in Grave Number 76 on the 12th May 1859. Dudley Somerville, Chaplin performed the burial ceremony.

40729 Driver George West, 3rd Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. Born in Brixworth, Northamptonshire, England on the 16th December 1878. Enlisted at Valcartier, Canada, on the 12th August 1914. Killed in motor bus accident on the 2nd April 1915 age 48. On his death certificate it states, “Injuries caused by being accidentally knocked down by a motor bus in Harbour Street Folkestone on the 2nd April 1915. Died at the Vitoria Hospital, Folkstone, the same day.”

Private 74332 Peter Joseph Gorman, 28th Battalion Canadian Infantry. Son of Maurice and Mary Gorman, of New Zealand. Died 5th July 1915 at the Beven Military Hospital, Sandgate. age 38. Death being caused by shock from the injuries received when he was knocked over by a bus on Sandgate esplanade on the 4th.

Private 22704 Joseph Addison, 12th Reserve Battalion Canadian Infantry. The husband of Maud. He served in the South African War. Died of delirium tremens, (Alcoholic withdrawal) on the 7th August 1915.

Private 74308 Joseph Howard, 28th Battalion Canadian Infantry. Born in London, Drowned at Folkestone, on the 30th September 1915. (CWGC website gives the date as 1st October) He was suffering from Tertiary Syphilis. Reported absent without leave on the 21st September. Howard’s father had died in a shipwreck.

Gunner 86676 Charles Gordon Peterkin, 2nd Reserve Battery, 8th Howitzer Brigade. Canadian Expeditionary Force. Born in Barbados he attested in Saskatchewan, Canada. Peterkin’s mother lived at Kendal Street, Barbados in the West Indies. Peterkin’s had serve for three years in the Barbados Volunteers. Killed by bombs from a Zeppelin on the 13th October 1915, age 27, during the raid on Otterpool Camp.

Sergeant 473027 William Ringrose Clarke, 65th Battalion Canadian Infantry. Volunteer Long Service Medal. Son of Philip and Anne Clarke, of Sandbach; husband of H. Clarke, of Nelson Place, Hayfield, Stockport, Cheshire, England. He broke his back when he fell of a Martello Tower into the moat on the 15th October 1915. Died from his injury on the 23rd October 1915, age 56.

111538 Trooper Frederick Malcolm McDonald age 20, 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Son of Jacob A. and Gertrude MacDonald. Killed by lightning on the 30th July 1915 during a violent thunderstorm.

Private 408560 Antime Godin, Canadian Pioneers. Born in Curry, New Brunswick, Canada. Died on the 20th April 1916. Committed suicide while of unsound mind. He had Complained about not being sent to the front. Shot himself in the head with a rifle. (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald 29/04/1916))

Richard W Windle Age 3 months, and his mother Mrs Norah Windle age 36. Both were burned to death on the 30th November 1916. The wife and child of Corporal Arthur Windle of the Canadian Army Service Corps. Both had burned to death in the house they were staying in at Warren Close in Folkestone. Their landlady found Mrs Windle lying with her head on the fire and a shawl wrapped around her baby on fire. Mrs Windle was already dead. Her baby Richard died in hospital. They were buried according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate, & Cheriton Herald.) Corporal Windle remarried in 1918. He survived the war and died in 1933.

William West Orr Died 29th December 1916 age 9 days. Son of Captain Harrold Orr, Canadian Army Medical Corps and Margaret West Orr. Captain Orr performed valuable war work which was brought to the attention of the war office in February 1917. Awarded the Military O B E, Gazetted on the 1st January 1919. Awarded the Medaille Des Epedemics by the President of the French Republic and Mentioned in Despatches by the Commander in Chief of the British Armies in France 31st December 1918. Orr was promoted to Major in March 1918. (Harold Orr’s Service Record) The inscription on his rave reads “‘In memory of William West Infant son of Capt H Orr CAMC. And Margaret Orr. Died Dec 29th 1916 Aged 5 days”

Francis Henry Considine, 5 years and 6 months old. A victim of the Folkestone Air Raid.

#Shorncliffe February

Since the cemetery open children of soldiers have been buried there. I think it was KG V who said the graves of British soldiers encircle the Globe. He might have added the graves of the children of British soldiers encircle the Globe too.

One of the earliest recorded child burials in Shorncliffe is of William Henry Richardson, age 1 month. Buried on the 7th February 1857, No.14 in the Burial Register. Another child who died in February, Alison Patricia Carstairs Died 9th February 1965. 4 days old.

Wandering around the graves there are the graves of more than a few suicides. There is Corporal Benjamin Ginn. 17th Lancers. Committed Suicide, he shot himself with a Martini-Henry Carbine in one of the stores at Shorncliffe, on the 28th February 1891. Ginn had served for 24 years in the Regiment.

Troop Sergeant Major Adcock. 1st King’s Dragoon Guards age 45. Committed Suicide on the 15th February 1892.

Private Stanley Philip Age 20. 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters. Found shot at the back of the drill shed. He was found face down with a rifle 4 feet away from him, on the 20th February 1932.

Bombardier 120367 S Stickells, 35 Anti Aircraft Company, Royal Garrison Artillery. Lived at 35 Invicta Road, Folkestone. Committed suicide on the 28th February 1920,

and many others

The reasons soldiers commit suicide vary. In Victorian times Money, or rather the lack of, was a cause of Officer Suicide and in Other Ranks Drink and women. During the First World War one soldier buried in the cemetery, committed suicide because the Army decided he was unsuitable for Frontline service.

Accidents are another cause of death for many of the soldiers buried in the Cemetery. Lncluding William Frederick Jones. 115th Battery Royal Field Artillery, age 21. Died when on the 2nd February he fell from a gun carriage and a wheel ran over his back.

Private 34588 Arthur Burbridge, Canadian Army Medical Corps. No.2 Canadian General Hospital. Born Kensington, London, England. Son of Arthur and Elizabeth Burbidge, of 416, 15th Avenue North East, Calgary, Alberta. Served in France. He was run over and killed by a motor omnibus in Sandgate at 4:15 pm on the 15th February 1916 age 20.

and on the

24th February 1941.

6 Soldiers from The Queens Royal Regiment (West Surry) Killed when someone stood on a mine. At (Hythe Beach?) The soldiers were being shown around the mine field there.

There are also Old Soldiers including Mr Robert Partridge age 65. Buried on the 28th February 1914 the coffin was carried on a gun carriage supplied by the Officer Commanding Royal Artillery. Mr Partridge was an Army Veteran. He had enlisted in the 35th in 1869. Transferred to the East Surrey Regiment he served with them throughout the Afghan Campaign (1878-80) and the Egyptian Campaign (1885). Awarded the Afghan Medal, a medal for the Egyptian Campaign, the Khedive’s Star, and he was also awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Apart from Britain and Canada other countries have people who died in February, buried in the cemetery, these include:

Charley Hanson Born in Norway

Carlos Acurcio from Portugal.

Piet Malinge, South African.

Rare Update

Very rarely do I update my Embarkations from Folkestone, but I did today. Hard to believe it runs to 194670 words. The updated entry is for Richard Norton.

12th August 1914

Flora Sandes 1 2 3

Sunday 16th August 1914

L.J. Austin F.R.C.S. Embarked with the first Belgian unit of the British Red Cross. The unit consisted of 10 Surgeons, 10 Dressers, and 20 nurses.4

7th October 1914

Clarence V. Mitchell an American who went to France to be a volunteer Ambulance Driver. He wrote, “With a Military Ambulance in France,” which is a collection of letters he sent to his parents. Crossed to France on the S.S. Sussex.

20th October 1914

Richard Norton5 Founder of the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps, also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps, and Director, American Red Cross Ambulances (Norton-Harjes Sections) Died from meningitis in Paris 2nd August 1918. Awarded the Croi de Guerre and the Legion of Honour.6

Monday 9th November 1914.

Glenna Lindsey Bigelow , an American who was living near Liege Belgium. Embarking for Calais. Glenna worked as a nurse throughout the war.7

27th November 1914

Doctor Rose, Colin Heerle and, Ernest Percy Bicknell of the Rockefeller Foundation War Relief Commission embark for Flushing.8

1 http://www.almabooks.com/excerpts/fine-brother.pdf p15

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flora_Sandes

3 http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/captain-flora-sandes-the-serbian-joan-of-arc/

4Page 13, my Experiances as a German Prisoner, Lorimer John Austin, Andrew Melrose Ltd 1915.

5Arlen Hanson, Gentlemen Volunteers, New York: Arcade, 1996. quoted in, http://www.ourstory.info/2/a/Norton.html accessed 10/02/2018

6A Roll of Honor of Harvard Men Who Have Given Their Lives For Liberty and Democracy in the War Against Germany

7Liege on the line of March, Glenna Lindsey Bigelow, John Lane Company 1918.

8In War’s Wake, 1914-1915; the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Red Cross Join in Civilian Relief by Ernest Percy Bicknell. Hathi Trust Digital Library online 12/01/2019.

Australians and New Zealanders buried at Shorncliffe. #Shorncliffe #Folkestone #FWW #WWI

Scarce heard among the guns. (Blogs about WW1)

The 25th April is the day Australia, New Zealand, as well as a few small Pacific Nations, commemorate their war dead. Originally the day was set aside to remember the dead of the ANZAC at Gallipoli but has since been expanded to include all Australian and New Zealand war dead. At cemeteries in countries where Australian and New Zealanders service personnel are buried, there are Dawn Services. I’m not sure if there has ever been a Dawn Service on ANZAC day at Shorncliffe.  Here are the 11 Australians listed by the Australian War Memorial as being buried at Shorncliffe, plus the three men on the New Zealand War Graves Register also interned at the Military Cemetery Shorncliffe.

Carl Christian Andersen, born in Holstebro in Denmark, a naturalised Australian. Enlisted on the 17th January 1915. Wounded in action in France on the 19th July 1916. Gun Shot wound fractured arm and a…

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Only A Cemetery.

Shorncliffe Cemetery.

Going through my notes and adding things. Over fifty pages for an average talk/tour of forty minutes.

So why are the notes so long?

Never used or needed all of the notes. There are there for backup and to answer questions. The first part of the notes cover the Units, American, British, and Canadian based at Shorncliffe Garrison in the years up to 1920. Plus modern British Army Regiments and Corps that have been stationed there.

Followed by a note of the extent of Shorncliffe Garrison.

A quick run down of what surrounds the cemetery. Martello towers, the different designs of the two within easy walking distance. Which one opened fire on an airship in the First World War, where the tower a soldier got shot in is. The World War II trench, the trench dug by the Royal Engineers in 1918, the practice trenches, the Tolsford Hill trenches, where William Tull was based. Where the the American hospital in WWII was, that sort of thing.

Bit on the Canadian Hospitals, the VD hospital,

Little bit on War Poets, Sorley, and John McCrae were both at Shorncliffe. There is also a rather tenuous link to E A Mackintosh

A little piece on the Spitfire, Hurricane, and the Halifax bomber pilots buried there, and the other pilots.

As I tend to mention Flynn the Machine Gunner, A few lines on the Americans, and

the Royal Canadian Air Force. There are notes about Step-Short and the FWW commemorations in Folkestone.

A couple of pages on Major Bellamy and the Irish Marriage Laws.

Notes on Key dates, 13th October 1915, 25th May 1917, 28th November 1920, 24th May 1941, and the 29th May 1944.

The two 14 year old and the 16 year old Boy Soldiers buried in the cemetery.

Notes on the suicides. The Victorian, Novelist, the leading Methodist clergyman buried there.

The child who were killed in both World Wars, the three VCs

Reminders of the War in the Far East, Major Close, is buried in the cemetery. A reminder about the Malayan Emergency, a soldier killed by the CTs is commemorated in the cemetery. It is surprising who asks questions, I once showed a relative of Chin Peng (google him) around the cemetery.

Notes about the American Service man who was buried there. notes about some of the Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, and Africans both black and white who are buried there. The oldest Memorials, they date from circa 1804. A note on the wooden Victorian grave marker. The earliest grave, the secret burials, the hidden graves. Reminders about the crewmen from a U-boat who were once buried there. The air raid victims from both World Wars.

The notes are increasing, more pages will be added. As I need something to sit on when my legs give way.

Oh if my legs do give way on a tour with you. This is what to do, tilt your head skyward start to whistle and slowly walk away. I will be fine after a few minutes.

Shorncliffe 19th and 20th

A quick review

Over the 7 tours

The 3 VC holders were mentioned as were

The two 14 year boy soldier and the 16 year old boy soldier

the unknown soldier buried there

The Spitfire, Hurricane, and Halifax pilots

The U boat crew and the German legion grave

Australian, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, South African graves

The Battle Damage on some of the graves

The Victorian Novelist

The soldiers who died in a minefield

Blown up in a demonstration of how an anti tank grenade functions.

The Gurkha

The Soldier killed in Northern Ireland

The little girl girl killed in WW2

The American soldier who was buried there

The Belgian buried there

The French who were also buried there

The oldest Memorials

The wooden Victorian Grave marker

The direction of Graves and the possibility two that might not face East

Why some of the cemetery is pristine the rest you could use as a training ground for jungle warfare

The Malayan Emergency

The two pilots that collided in mid air.

The Visit of the Royal Canadian Air Force

Debunked the “They marched down the Road of Remembrance” myth perpetuated by Step Short. (American Army Units did, Canadian Units did not)

Where soldiers stood and remembered on the Road of remembrance -its still there.

The oldest memorials

Neremiah Curnock

and the question was posed “Is there something in the soil of cemeteries that makes the blackberries taste so good?

Sod the Visitor Books, #Folkestone #FWW

I research the embarkations from Folkestone during the First World War. The sources for my information include

War Diaries

Army Forms B103s

Personal Memoirs


Why? Afterall the books contain an estimated 42,000 signatures (Step Short.) Apart from Medal Cards these signatures are the only other reference that a soldier, or other individual actually lived. They also give a date when that individual was in Folkestone. Fascinating books. If you are ever in Folkestone,Kent, England, do go and look at them. They are at Folkestone Museum and also online somewhere.

So again, why do I not use them as a source?

I research EMBARKATIONS from Folkestone, not DISEMBARKATIONS. The visitors books were mostly signed by people returning from France and Flanders, not by people going to France and or Flanders.

Army Embarkations from Folkestone started at the end of March 1915. Not on the 4th August 1914

It is easy to check if you wish. From the 1915 pages find a soldier and look up their Medal Card.

or, Find a soldier in any of the other volumes and see if their Army Form B103 still exists.

Also the cafe was only open during the daylight hours and just look at where the cafe is. Next to the railway platform, which is next to the railway track, which is next to the quayside, then there is the boat. Battalions could arrive at the harbour and embark in ten minutes. Think about how long it would take to queue, get served, drink your tea, go around the train, and embark.

Compare dates. I’m also not impressed by the morons who tell me millions marched down what is now known as the Road of Rememberance. It says so on the cairn at the top.

This is what the plaque says.

Read it slowly word for word.

It states very clearly, TENS OF THOUSENDS… … TO AND FROM, ie in both directions. NOT MMILLIONS, NOT HUNDREDS OF THOUSENDS, IT STATES Tens of thousends.

Yes, I know some units did march down the road. If asked very nicely I will let you see the list.

Amerian units also marched done the road during the war.

Canadian Units did not.

How do we know?

We have their war diaries and other sources. It is well known how soldiers marched from Shorncliffe to the Harbour. Down the Military Road and along the Lower Sandgate Road thats how.

There are daft buggers who tell me soldiers marched from Folkestone Central Railway station down to thhe harbour. Hate well actually delighted to tell you. like hell they did.

More than a few Soldiers would have taken their chance and deserted on the way. There was no point in stopping at Folkestone Station, the next, last and only stop was the harbour.

ah but they “Stopped and remembered their fallen comrades on the way down the Road of Rememerance.”

Then why is it not called The Road of Premonitions?

Yes we do know exactly where the soldiers stopped on the way up. Going up it is about ten to fifteen yards (ok metres) from the top on the left hamd side. You have to push your way through the bushes first. Usually if you walk up on the pavement on the right you can see some glazed brown tiles. They mark the site.

Every entery on my list is referenced. Sometimes there are additional details, sometimes not. The list is over 190,000 words and about 850 pages long. People are welome to visit. Although don’t even think about it during the covid Lock down.

Please do not tell me to refer to the visitors book, or tell me Step Short or anyone else told you millions marched down the Road of Rememberance. I will tell you where and how you can off.

Rant over,

21st April 1915 Embarkations from #Folkestone

On the 20th of April, the following embarked at Folkestone

Tuesday 20th April 1915

Head Quarters 149th Infantry Brigade. Left Folkestone 8:15 pm. They arrived in Boulogne at 9:40 pm. 1

1/4th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division.2

1/5th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division. At 8:45 pm the battalion embarked on the S.S. Victoria. They arrived at Boulogne at 10:30 pm..3

1/6th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division after a train journey of nearly 12 hours from Blyth the battalion arrived in Folkestone at 10 pm and 10:45pm. They embarked on to the S.S. Onward and arrived at Boulogne at 12:45 on the 21st April .4

1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers, part of the Northumberland Brigade, 50th Division. Embarked at 11 pm, on the S.S. Invicta arrived in Boulogne at 2 am on the 21st. The crossing was very calm.5

11th (Service) Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment, (Pioneers). A K1 battalion in 14th Division. The Battalion entrained at the Government sidings in Aldershot on two trains they arrived in Folkestone at 12 mid night and 12:20 am. The Battalion then embarked on the Princess Victoria which sailed at 1 am.6

1149th Inf Brigade War Diary

2 1/4th Battalion War Diary.

3 1/5th Battalion War Diary

4 1/6th Battalion War Diary.

51/7th War Diary.

611th Battalion war Diary.

Due to the timing of embarkations and sailings, the Army Pension records  record some of the men embarking on the 21st.

This is what happened to just a few of the men from the 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers.

21st April 1915

Lance Corporal 205 Walter Gair, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. He is wounded in action on the 26th of April. Promoted Sergeant in July 1915. Returns to England Time expired on the 7th April 1916.1

Private 2277 James Hogg, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. He is wounded in action on the 26th of April. Transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship Valdivia, 3rd May 1915.2

Private 2743 Thomas Gray Palmer, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. Accendently wounded on the 3rd (?) August. This probably when he was wounded by a gunshot to the right foot, on the 3rd (?) August. He transferred back to England on the 12th of August 1915. He will embark again for France on the 27th of October from Southampton. Appointed paid Lance Corporal 24th November 1916. Allotted a new Regimental number, 290719 in March 1917. Promoted to Corporal on the 20th of March. Appointed paid Lance Sergeant, 27th November. Accendently wounded in the field on the 6th April 1918, scald left ankle and gassed, Mustered Poisoning. Transferred back to England on the 18th of April. Discharged on the 18th October 1918 as Time Expired.3

Private 2029 Michael Quinn, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. 26th April he is admitted to 10 Casualty Clearing Station, Hazebrouck, with a gunshot wound to a hand. A day later he is admitted to No.9 Stationary Hospital Harve. On the 30th he is transferred back to England on the Hospital Ship, Carisbrooke Castle.4

Private 2747 Adam Scott, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. He is wounded in action on the 26th  of April. The following day 26th he is admitted to (10 Casualty Clearing Station?), Hazebrouck, with a gunshot wound to his left hand. Scott is transferred back to England on the 5th of May.5

Corporal 809 Ralph Watson, 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers. Time expired 1st April 1916. He is discharged from the Army on the 26th April 1916.6

1 Walter Gair’s Army Pension Record.

2 James Hogg’s Army Pension Record.

3 Thomas Gray Palmer’s Army Pension Record.

4 Michael Quinn’s Army Pension Record.

5 Adam Scott’s Army Pension Record.

6 Ralph Watson Army Pension Record.