Stories

War Graves – WW1 & WW2: During First World War, the first line of medical treatment for a wounded soldier occurred in, or very near to, the front line. Those with more severe wounds would be moved further behind the battle area to an Advanced Dressing Station and some would be moved back to UK to be treated in a military hospital. Some of course not surviving their horrific wounds to finally die here in the UK. There are 44 war graves in this cemetery (EveryOne Remembered project).

Some of the stories in this section are transcripts from websites or blogs often written by family members or from historical societies – these are identified with the original source also given. We are very fortunate to have some keen researchers in our volunteer group, including Carole and Karl, and sometimes we include items from historian Peter Anderson written in his own inimitable style.

  • Alfred Philpott 1869-1929 – a hidden history; He was a rag sorter, living in Sidney Street, Folkestone, when he died, aged about 60. Rag sorting in Edwardian times was part of their re-cycling of everything useful. ‘Rag bone’ carts touted the streets collecting glass, metals. . . . .more.
  • The Story of Sidney Cooper Weston: Bobs research revealed that Sidney Cooper Weston was buried in the old Folkestone cemetery. So Bob, again on a mission, found the old headstone – which was leaning over at a crazy angle, with broken curbstones and with weeds growing across the plot – and paid for stonemasons to clean and renovate the headstone and curbstones, after which he cleared the plot of brambles and planted it with flowers himself. . . . more
  • George Peden: From Humble Beginnings – George Peden who died 1905 at his residence, 26 Kingsnorth Gardens. The son of Scottish Parents who settled in Folkestone, George Peden was born and christened in the year 1856 . Although from humble beginnings he went on to become a Chief Magistrate of the Borough, a Justice of the Peace (J.P.) and Mayor of the Borough of Folkestone 1903-4. More than these prestigious positions – he was loved and respected for the many good works he did for the children from poor families, those who lived in the workhouse, and the aged of the Borough. . . more
  • Nature Study Ends In Tragedy – Reported at the time as ‘Cliff Fatality’ the news item goes on to tell of the tragic death of a young pupil of Sidney Street School, a boy named Ernest Edward Smith who climbed up the face of a cliff, missed his footing, and fell to the bottom of the cliff. . . more
  • Bloody Accident At The Folkestone Lift – An unmarked plot in the old Folkestone cemetery marks the resting place of John Henry Frederick Wessell who died 13th December 1916. John Wessell was an assistant engineer of the Folkestone Lift until one warm Saturday afternoon in May 1896 when he was involved in a life-changing accident whilst working on the Lift machinery. . . .more
  • LTC George Blicke Champion De Crespigny: The Mad Minute – Hythe School of Musketry was mentioned by Rob on history ‘walk and talk,’ round the Cheriton Road Cemetery, when we stopped at George de Crespigny’s memorial. He was Paymaster at the barracks there in 1871. . . more
  • Lewis Dilnot – He was a cook on the TSS The Queen, working on the night she met a group of German torpedo boat destroyers. The Queen was originally the first turbine cross channel steamer, and therefore fast. She could cross the channel in less than an hour. . . more
  • Three From Folkestone: Memorial Inscription to Captain Charles Philip Lysaght Marwood. He was attached to the 1st Battalion Nigerian Regiment, West African Frontier Force . . more
  • S.S. Sussex March 1916: There are no troopship sailings on this day. However one ship was allowed to sail, the S.S. Sussex. While crossing from Folkestone to Dieppe the S.S .Sussex is torpedoed. Manliffe Francis Goodbody, Enrique and Amparo Grandados, Prince Bahram Mirza Sardar Mass’oud, Maurice Planckert and others were all killed . . .more.
  • The Grosser Kurfurst: During exercises off Folkestone on 31 May 1878, a squadron of German navy ships was sailing in two columns destined for Plymouth, with the flagship SMS Koenig Wilhelm and SMS Preussen in one division and SMS Grosser Kurfurst making up the other……The larger Koenig Wilhelm tore into the side of her companion, spilling sailors into the sea, ripping off armoured plating and tearing large holes into Grosser Kurfurst. Despite enormous effort, 284 of her crew drowned….more
  • The National Guard 1914: On the 16th December 1914 the formation of the National Guard was announced in the press. An often overlooked formation. They won no VCs, or Battle Honours. I do not think there is a Memorial to them either. . . . more
  • Recipes From The First World War: Some of these I have posted before. It just seems easier than reposting. One of the smells veterans could remember from the trenches was the smell of cooked bacon. This had nothing to do with bacon being cooked. . . . more
  • The Great Folkestone Air Raid / The Gotha Bombing: 25th May 1917 was a Friday. It had been a warm and sunny late Spring day, and the shops in Tontine Street were still doing a brisk trade, although it was nearly six o clock. It was Whitsun Bank Holiday on Monday and many wives were purchasing extra provisions for the long weekend.. more
  • WW1 Folkestone. 1st July 1916, and the Organist has just died: I am sitting in the churchyard of St Mary and St Eanswythe in Folkestone. The church is all locked up as is normal during the week, no one is about. It is going to be another beautiful day here in Folkestone on the south coast of England. more
  • The story of Folkestone cemetery: The people that come to stay at Cheriton Road come from far and wide and from all walks of life. But lets start at the beginning where all good story’s start. more
  • The Somme and Gotha bombing connection: This is a gravestone and a memorial stone. This year (2016) it is one of the most important memorials in Folkestone Old Cemetery. Although I’m sure most people have no idea why. This year is the centenary of the 1st July 1916 and the start of the First Battle of the Somme. ….more
  • The Grosser Kurfurst and the Folkestone Air Raid. 25th May 1917. On the 31st May 1878 people gathered on the Leas to watch three German warships exercising in the English Channel. The Preussen, Koenig Wilhelm and the Grosser Kurfurst. The people on the Leas were enjoying seeing the manoeuvres of the ships. Suddenly their joy turned to disbelief, shock, and horror as . . . more
  • 25th May 1917 – 25th May 2017 100th Anniversary of the Folkestone Air Raid. There have been a few accounts of the Folkestone Air Raid (also known as the Tontine Street Bombing or the Gotha Bombing) which happened on 25th May 1917 – so I will not attempt to write about it again. Here are various accounts of this terrible event as written by local people and historians. . . more
  • Folkestones Few: It is a rarely told, not unknown, nor forgotten, part of Folkestone’s First World War history.  Untold and overlooked.  These are just some of the few who took part in the air war. The first is from Folkestone’s Old Cemetery and is named on the War Memorial. Not all are on the War Memorial. This is Folkestone and they do things differently here. . . . more
  • W Moss, Every Tombstone Tells a Story. I like talking to the dead, they don’t answer back. I like stories about the dead from the First War War. Sure I like the stock in trade stories of bravery, the tales of valour. The glory as well as the sadness of it all. Some storytellers can make it so real you are there. Close your eyes and be with them. Listen and you can hear about their lives and feel their fears. Every tombstone tells a story . . . .more