So who did march down the Road of Rememberance?
Not easy to say. The usual glib answer I give is relatively few. Relatively being a somewhat vague, now go away answer. People, I realise, tend to want more.
The relative is compared to the total number of soldiers who left from Folkestone
How many left from Folkestone?
It depends who you ask.
You are asking me?
Oh, 2.5 to 3 million. If you think there were more, then in proportion the “Relatively few” is fewer.
So who were the few?
Drafts I am open to debate the issue-heck not really, I do know when and which regiments of more than a few, well at a guess about 200. plus the majority of Australian, British, Canadian, American, Indian, Units that did, (and a South African Unit-that may have) embarked from Folkestone)
Units that marched down Slopes Road and Dates are as follows:-
On the 7th May 1917
2/1st Shropshire RHA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery1
2/1st Berkshire RHA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery2
380 Battery RFA ,158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery3
381 Battery RFA, 158 Brigade Royal Field Artillery
The 30th May 1917 Maybe
No.5 Base Hospital US Army4
11th June 1917
No.12 Base Hospital U.S Army, after arrival No 12 Base Hospital operated British General Hospital No. 18. This unit did march down Slopes Road5 On the 20th May 1917 the day following the units departure for England, a gunnery accident killed Nurses Helen Wood and Edith Ayres injuring a third nurse. The bodies of Wood and Ayres were returned to the US and given military funerals. They were the first United States Army Casualties of the First World War.
22nd? May 1918
117th Infantry, 30th division U.S. Army.
Exact date unknown, but Maybe
120th Infantry “3rd North Carolina” 30th Division, U.S. Army. The regiment crossed from Boston on the HMT Bohemia and the HMT Miltaides. To Liverpool and then by train to Folkestone and Dover. The men from the Militiades crossed from Dover, those from the Bohemia Folkestone, both disembarked at Calais All the men from the regiment had completed their journey to France on or just before the 5th June.
2nd June 1918 Sounds possible
Company B, 311th US Infantry. The 311th had crossed from the USA on the “Nestor”. After arriving at Liverpool they entrained for Folkestone arriving at 2 a.m. on the 1st June. They history of Company B, 311 Infantry records they spent the night in an Embarkation Camp at Folkestone in “a large empty stone house in a row of similar ones” Sixty men from the 311th had left for France from Folkestone on the 1st June.
11th June 1918
311th US Infantry crossed to Calais where they arrived about 4 o’clock.7 Some companies had embarked for France earlier in the month.
312th US Infantry. The 312th had marched from Dibgate camp to Folkestone the day before, and had spent the night in vacant hotels in Folkestone. The 312th crossed to Calais on the SS Marguerite.8 On arrival at Calais they marched to Rest Camp No.6.9
3rd July 1918
Maybe 41st Brigade HQ. sailed with the 29th DLI and half of 33rd London Regiment on the first ship at 9:30 am.
Maybe 18th York and Lancaster Regiment.
For sure 33rd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment, Billeted previous night in Folkestone at No. 3 Rest Camp. Half of the battalion sailed at 9:30 am, the other half at 1 pm.
Maybe 29th Battalion Durham Light Infantry the Battalion arrived in Folkestone at 5 am., they arrived in Boulogne at 11 am. Four hours later.
5th July 1918
15th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.
20th Battalion Middlesex Regiment. On the 4th July the battalion consisting of 39 Officers and 623 Other Ranks. left Bullswater Camp in two parties on two trains one at 10:35pm, the other at 11:00 pm, for Folkestone. The last of the two trains arrived at Folkestone at 3 a.m. on the 5th. Both parties marched to Number 5 Rest Camp. Officers were billeted in surrounding hotels. Those officers staying in the Grand being excessively charged. The battalion paraded at 8 a.m. To march to the harbour and embark for Boulogne on two boats.
12th Suffolk Regiment. The Battalion left Pirbright on two trains, the first left at 11:45 p.m. On the 4th July 1918, the second at 12:15 a.m. On the 5th July 1918. On arrival in Folkestone the whole battalion was billeted at No. 3 Rest Camp. The battalion left for Boulogne at 4:30 p.m. on the 5th July.
10th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry. Now part of 43rd Brigade 14th Division. On the night of the 4th-5th July the battalion entrained on two trains for Folkestone. On arriving at Folkestone the battalion was billeted at Number 3 Rest Camp. At 16:30 hours on the 5th July the 10th Highland Light Infantry sailed for Boulogne.
31st July 1918
Likely some of these did
48th Brigade 16th Division, the brigade arrived in Folkestone between 3 and 5 a.m. and proceeded into a rest camp. Later on that morning at 8 a.m. They embarked as follows:
Brigade Head Quarters
22nd Battalion The Northumberland Fusiliers, and the
11th Battalion Princess Victoria’s Royal Irish Fusiliers
on the S.S. Onward.
18th Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), and the
48th Trench Mortar Battery
on the S.S. Princess Victoria. The Brigade disembarked in Boulogne at 11 a.m.
1st August 1918
11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) Hampshire Regiment. The battalion left Aldershot on two trains. After a three hour train journey the first train arrived at Shorncliffe at 4 a.m., and the second train at 4:30 a.m.. From Shorncliffe station the battalion was marched to Number 3 Rest camp. Here the men were billeted and served breakfast plus a haversack ration. Just before 8 a.m. The battalion was paraded and marched down to the harbour where they embarked on the S.S. Onward at 8:30 a.m. The S.S. Onward sailed at 9 a.m. and arrived at Boulogne at 10:45. From Boulogne harbour the battalion march up to Ostrahof Rest Camp. While here at Ostrahof the battalion saw their first action of their return to France. There was an enemy air raid at 11 p.m. There were no casualties in the battalion.
Maybe these did.
The Reconstituted 6th (Service) Battalion, Prince Albert’s Own (Somerset Light Infantry), now part of 49th Brigade 16th Division.
18th Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment part of 49th Brigade, 16th Division.
34th (City of London) Battalion The London Regiment.
Did they stop on the way down the road to remember their dead?
If they did, it should be called the Road of Premonitions.