A busy weekend for Step Short

Geoff Tolson at Folkestone War Memorial
Step Short's Geoff Tolson lays a wreath at the war memorial

While the nation looked back at the bravery of the country’s armed forces on Remembrance Sunday, members of Folkestone’s Step Short project were also looking forward.

The group used the weekend to launch this new website that showcases the projects that are now underway and that will focus the nation’s attention on the anniversary of the start of the Great War in 2014.

They include replanting and renovating the Road of Remembrance, down which every one of those millions of men marched between 1914 and 1918, and adding a ‘time line’ highlighting the main events of the war from the top of the road to the bottom.

“We believe Folkestone should be at the forefront of the commemorations in 2014 as it played such a vital role in the Great War, and we felt it was appropriate to launch the website during Remembrance Weekend,” said project vice-chairman Ann Berry.

Ann was re-elected as vice chairman of the group at Friday’s annual meeting, where chairman Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone, looked back at a very successful year for the project.

He highlighted close and growing links with the Imperial War Museum in London, Shepway District Council and the Folkestone Harbour Company as evidence that the group’s plans were being taken on board as a focus for the centenary celebrations, not just locally but nationally.

The meeting also agreed to go ahead with plans to digitise the visitors’ books that were signed by soldiers who stopped for refreshments at the Harbour Canteen on their way to the front line.

The 42,000 names will eventually be made available on this website and are expected to provide valuable information for genealogists and anyone interested in the Great War.

The annual meeting also saw the launch of a new Friends organisation, while on Sunday, Step Short’s Geoff Tolson laid a wreath on behalf of Step Short at Folkestone War Memorial.

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