Folkestone (Civic) memorial
Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe and Hythe Advertiser, Saturday, 9th December 1922
The Unveiling of Folkestone (civic) War Memorial - Saturday 2nd December 1922
A large crowd of people congregated at the eastern end of the Leas, Folkestone on Saturday, 2nd December 1922 to see the unveiling of the War Memorial; fortunately it was a dry day with fine weather. An enclosure was provided at the eastern end of the memorial for all relatives of the 578 dead men who were to be commemorated and honoured that day. Members of the committee, subscribers and principal residents were in an area opposite with members of the British Legion and ex Service men next to them. The Folkestone Naval Cadets, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and St Johns Ambulance lined the approach to the memorial in West Terrace. In front on the memorial itself, a guard of honour with the Regimental Colours from the 1st Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry were in position. Other services such as the Coastguard were also represented. Also a special enclosure housed two hundred children, who represented all the local elementary schools, under the leadership of Mr P. Greenstreet.
The Mayor, Alderman E.J.Bishop, members of the Corporation and other Prominent people from the locality such as Rev. Canon Tindall (the Vicar), Col. W.J.Dugan C.M.G.,D.S.O (Commander of Shorncliffe Camp), The French, Belgian and Italian Vice-Consuls marched up to the War Memorial from the Town Hall. Then, Lord Radnor and Sir Stephen Penfold (Chairman of the War Memorial Committee) arrived and the ceremony began.
After a hymn and a reading Sir Penfold stood forward and gave a speech. He firstly apologised on behalf of Admiral Sir Roger Keyes who was unable to leave the Peace Conference at Lausanne and would therefore be unable to unveil the War Memorial. He also spoke in warm terms of Mr F.V.Blundstone who designed and executed the memorial. He continued describing the memorial itself, “Standing aloft on the central pedestal a bronze figure, symbolic of Motherhood and Reverence, faces in silent dignity the Battlefields of France and Flanders, and immortalizes the highest bonds of love between the dead and the living. She holds in her hand the symbol of sacrifice, while drooping at half-mast from the shaft of the cross hangs the Union Jack.”
Lord Radnor then stepped forward and pulled the cord which held the Union Jacks over the memorial, they fell and the memorial was unveiled. Then Lord Radnor made a short speech in which he congratulated Sir Stephen Penfold and members of the committee on the memorial. He also stated “Erected as it is in the first place to the memory of those who belong to Folkestone and who fell in the war, one’s first thought on an occasion of this kind is the very deep and very sincere sympathy with the relatives of those who fell, and that sympathy is all the deeper and more sincere because, I suppose, there is hardly one of us who has not lost a dear relative or any rate, a dear friend during those four and a half years”… “Lastly this memorial reminds us of those hundreds of thousands of men who passed this way on their road to the front”
The Vicar, Rev Canon Tindall, dedicated the memorial and led everyone in the Lord’s Prayer. The Guard of Honour presented Arms, the last Post played, and the Regimental Colours were dipped.
Sir Stephen Penfold, then asked the Mayor to accept the memorial on behalf of the Town. He did this saying “I accept it on behalf of the Council of the Borough, who will, I am confident, preserve it with reverential care…. “The hymn, Abide with me, was sung, followed by the placing of a number of wreaths on the memorial. The National Anthem was sung and Benediction was pronounced. The “Reveille” rang out and with a march past of the dignitaries the ceremony was completed. Then relatives of the men who died came forward and placed there own floral tributes around the memorial.
(The paper printed the sentiments on the floral tributes, which covered an entire page of the paper)
The following links contain the list of the fallen as printed by the Folkestone Express in 1922.