National coverage continues

Excitement is continuing to mount as Step Short prepares to unveil the 42,000 names contained in the Harbour Canteen visitors’ books.

After a full page feature in Britain at War – the leading magazine of its kind – stories have now appeared in Discover Your History and Family Tree magazine, both well-respected national publications. Another magazine has been gathering material for a feature at the end of this month as interest in these historic documents continues to grow.

Every page of the eight, red-bound visitors’ books has been scanned and will be available on this website from the end of January following an official launch of the database. In the meantime volunteers have been transcribing the information given – usually name, rank and regiment but sometimes with an extra message – and indexing it.

Anyone who joins Step Short will then be given a password that will allow them to go ‘behind the scenes’ and search for a particular name amongst the 42,000 signatures. Reading the handwriting has not always been easy 100 years later, and the charity is hoping that some people who access the database will be able to throw new light on some of the names.

Keep an eye on the website for the date when you can find out more about the 42,000 men and women who signed the books on the way to or from the Western Front a century ago.

Family Tree mag DYH

National magazine features our visitor books

Britain at War, one of the most respected magazines of its kind, was so impressed with our work on making 42,000 names in the Mole Cafe visitor books available to everyone that it devoted a whole page to the project in its  December issue.


The visitor books are due to go on line as part of this website in the new year and will be available to researchers, family members and historians around the world. You can read more about the project here.

Access to the original scanned images of the eight visitor books will be free of charge, while those who wish to see the transcribed detail or use an index that will allow them to search for a particular name will be asked to pay a nominal charge of just £10 to join Step Short. The charity sees this as a valuable source of funding for its educational projects.

You can click the link below to see the Britain at War feature.