There were many hospitals and convalescent homes in and around Folkestone during the war. I have recently been sent the following item:

“I saw Mrs. Creagh off by the morning boat. I had an opportunity of introducing her to Captain Walker, Naval Reserve, Embarkation Officer, and he was glad to get her signature in his book, which is a most wonderful record since August 1914 of any person of any importance who has embarked or disembarked. There are signatures of Kings, Queens, General, etc., and it is a most valuable record, which is going to be given to the Nation. I visited the Marine Hotel, and went round with Miss Easby, and arranged that a notice board should be put at the entrance, notifying what the building was. I also arranged with her that all members of the Nursing Services warned for demobilisation should spend one week’s notice at the Marine prior to embarking.”

Another nursing connection has recently appeared on the Great War Forum. Click here to read it and to see the charming painting of a nurse. I wonder who she was?

2012 A Busy Year Ahead

We begin with a Litter Pick down the Road of Remembrance on Saturday 11 February 2012 between 10.30 and 13.00.  PLEASE come and lend a hand.

Tools, bags and Hi Viz jackets will be supplied. Meet outside the Leas Lift from 10.00.  Email us if you want more info, or if you plan to attend.  Other important events will be opening of our new museum in time for Easter and the first of the Visitors Books going online in April. Also make a note in your diary for 4th and 5th August, when there will be guided walks, talks and our annual march along The Leas and down the Road of Remembrance.

7th August – The March down the Road of Remembrance

Step Short project
Remembering the soldiers of the Great War

3rd Commemorative March
Sunday 7th August 2011

The March down the Road of Rembrance on the 7th of August was a great succcess. Attendance was high and a heavy shower 40 minutes before the start failed to quell spirits. Many thanks the the staff and management of The Grand for providing shelter and towels!

The march had a new feature this year. A WW1 soldier was presented to the march and he told them his story. At the end of the march he was revealed as being Coropral Cotter VC.

The event is going from strength to strength. We look forward to next year.

Exhibition of Unknown Warrior In the Grand on the Leas arriving pm on Saturday 30th July for two weeks. Taken down on sat 13th Best time to view will be from Sunday 31st July – Sunday 12th August.

Saturday 6th August, Eamonn Rooney, local Historian, will lead a WW1 talk and walk. Starting outside the Grand on the Leas at 11.00am. Members of the public who wish to view the exhibition of the unknown warrior before the talk / walk, are able to do so.

Step Short Visitor Centre

Step Short’s new visitor centre opened on the the 26th May, in Tram Road, Folkestone. The centre was opened by the Mayoress of Folkestone and the opening was attended by local councillors, Damian Collins M.P. local historians, and members of the public. Inside are displays of Step Short projects and there will be some WW1 artifacts on display soon. Three designs of souvenir mugs are on sale. Local maps to help explore Folkestone’s history are also available.

Step Short have taken a three year lease on the centre and hope it will be a focus for membership and publicity for the Step Short projects, as well as providing a meeting place and base for the project teams.

Step Short in partnership with IWM

The Imperial War Museum, London, has taken a lead role for national preparations to commemorate the centenary of the Great War. Step Short is proud to be in partnership with the IWM.

Click on the IWM logo above to find out more about the Museum’s plans. To find out more about our plans at Step Short, please browse our site.



Step Short registered as a Charity

Our application to the Charity Commission has been successful. Our number is 1143305. With our educational and heritage activities recognised we look forward to bringing to a world-wide audience the stories and experiences of life in and around Folkestone during WWI, and of the men and women for whom this was the last stop on English soil before their short journey to the maelstrom of the Western Front. Please support us by becoming a Member or by making a Donation.


Step Short Folkestone has agreed to press ahead with one of its most exciting and challenging centenary projects and has launched an urgent fund-raising appeal to help with the cost.

Many of the soldiers who stopped at the Harbour Canteen for a final cuppa before boarding their troop ship to the front line trenches signed one of the visitors’ books

The books offer a moving insight into the people behind the history and together form a uniquely personal tribute to some 42,000 of the men who passed through the canteen on their way to France. The spine of the books reads simply “Autographs from Folkestone Pier”.

Step Short Folkestone has now agreed to digitise the books to create a unique online reference work that will be of immense interest to scholars, researchers, historians and family-tree enthusiasts. The names will be indexed to create a searchable database that can be accessed through the website, but the process is costly.

The group is looking for cash help to raise the £6,000 needed to turn these historic books into a vital, permanent record of these brave men who set off almost 100 years ago on what was, for many, to be their final journey.

To contribute, click the link to the Contact page and get in touch. You can also become a Friend of Step Short by following the link here or at the top of the page.

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.