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Walking tours of war graves at St James Cemetery, Dover to help people discover World War heritage

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Walking tours of war graves in Dover are taking place to help people discover the World War heritage on their doorstep.

The free guided tours, organised by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), will take place twice a month during August and September.

The white stone war graves remember those who lost their lives at war. Picture Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The white stone war graves remember those who lost their lives at war. Picture Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The first took place on August 13 at Dover St James Cemetery and others will give people in the area the chance to discover the stories of the men and women who are buried in their community.

There are more than 700 Servicemen and women buried in Dover St James Cemetery.

Throughout both World Wars Dover was a hub of military activity with hundreds of thousands of soldiers embarking and returning from the fighting.

Throughout the First World War more than six million wounded servicemen were brought ashore at Dover, and during the Second World War the Dunkirk evacuations were coordinated from the town.

As men left for overseas battlefields, one of their last glimpses of Britain would have been the White Cliffs.

“We’re encouraging people to seek out the stories in their local area and book onto a free tour this summer…”

For men brought back to Dover by hospital ship those same cliffs represented a haven from danger and fear.

The tours are led by Norman Brice, who has been volunteering for the Commission since 2017 as a guide at Brookwood Military Cemetery.

The tours will reveal the undiscovered stories of those who gave their lives in the war, and the work of CWGC around the world to honour them.

The war grave section in St James graveyard in Dover. Picture Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The war grave section in St James graveyard in Dover. Picture Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Liz Woodfield, Director of Information and Communications at the CWGC said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for war graves at more than 12,500 locations in the UK and this means there is a way for us all to connect to our local World War heritage.

There is a wealth of World War history across all four corners of the United Kingdom, from large CWGC cemeteries and memorials to single headstones in remote churchyards, you’re never too far away from one of our sites.

The tours are in September. Picture CWGC
The tours are in September. Picture CWGC

“We’re encouraging people to seek out the stories in their local area and book onto a free tour this summer.”

The next tours are September 13 and 14 with tours taking place at 11 am and 2.30pm on both days.

To book your tour, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Deal Dover Beth Robson



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