Harbour canteen books already producing results

Our online harbour canteen visitors’ books are already helping people find long-lost relatives who crossed to the Western Front from Folkestone between 1914 and 1919.

The books, which were signed by 43,000-plus men and women as they went to, or returned from, the battlefields, have been digitised and transcribed by Step Short to create a fantastic resource for historians and family members alike.

Anyone can access the scanned pages, but only members of Step Short can use the index which makes searching for a relative so much easier. Membership costs just £10 and allows for unlimited access for a year. Follow this link to find out how you can search the books.

One subscriber, who signed up as Sheena, got in touch to say she was “chuffed to bits” with how well the site was working for her.

She added:  “Might just have found one of my grandmother’s brothers – which, if it proves correct, will be amazing

“Excellent site – am thoroughly enjoying browsing both it and the books.”

We would love to hear from anyone else who finds a relative through the online database or who thinks we might have transcribed a name wrongly. This is very much ‘work in progress’ and we know that in interpreting 100 year-old handwriting, done in pencil on the way to or from a battlefield, our volunteers will not have interpreted every name properly, so please help us to help you.

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