On the evening of 4th August as dusk was falling, supporters of the Shorncliffe Trust, together with volunteer helpers and many members of the local community, came together for a moving ceremony at the Shorncliffe military cemetery in honour of the fallen soldiers of the First World War. The Lord-Lieutenant was represented by Ros McCarthy DL.
There are 550 British, Belgian, Chinese and Commonwealth soldiers buried in this quiet and very beautiful hillside graveyard overlooking the sea at Sandgate, and a lighted lantern was placed by each headstone or memorial to shed ‘light in the darkest hour’. This was done to demonstrate that those who fell during the First World War are not forgotten.
Shorncliffe played a crucial role during this war, with thousands of troops based there before embarking for the Western Front. It had a specially designed training area for trench warfare, the remains of which are evident today and which the Shorncliffe Trust is working to preserve.
The evening’s ceremony, marking the centenary of the start of the war, was simple but extremely moving. Illuminated only by the flickering lanterns and a clear star-lit sky, the silent crowd stood at the central memorial cross, as a wreath was laid by a veteran soldier. Participants were reminded of the history and heritage of the place where they stood, verses were read and evocative music played in the calm night air. The last lantern to be lit was by a family whose son had recently fallen in battle. As the crowd silently dispersed back up the hill, it was felt that this had been an appropriate and memorable way to mark such an important occasion.
His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales visited Folkestone on Monday 4th August 2014 to open the Step Short Association’s Memorial Arch on the Leas, Folkestone. The arch is the only new memorial to be built in commemoration of World War 1. The arch replaces an earlier one built after World War 1 but removed to accommodate larger vehicles.
The event was nominated as a national event alongside the Service of Thanksgiving in Glasgow Cathedral and events held in Belgium.
Prince Harry unveiled a plaque to mark the event before a short Service of Remembrance at the Folkestone War Memorial nearby, after which HRH laid a wreath. The Tri-service Guard of Honour led by the band of The Brigade of Ghurkhas, then marched down The Road of Remembrance following in the footsteps of the millions of Servicemen and Women who took the route on their way to embark for France, some never to return. The parade was followed by a column of 800 Veterans and Cadets detachments of all three Services.
The Marchers then formed a Hollow Square and HRH toured the detachments and spoke with many of them. His Royal Highness then departed for further engagements in Belgium later in the day. More information on the arch can be found at www.stepshort.co.uk
In response to the appeal made by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and supported by The Royal Household for floodlighting and house lights to be extinguished between 2200 and 2300 hours on the night of 4th August, and to leave a single light burning in each place, the gesture was taken up by many across the ceremonial county of Kent.
The nation led by Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, attended Vigil services across the Kingdom and across the Channel in Belgium.
Both Cathedrals in Kent held vigils; The Lord-Lieutenant attended the Rochester Cathedral Service, while The Vice Lord-Lieutenant was in Canterbury Cathedral. Deputy Lieutenants attended some of the many parish Vigils across the county to mark the moment that Britain plunged into the First World War, which supposedly ended all wars, but certainly did not. As we know 100 years later, many conflicts are still taking place on many continents.
The evening was a moment of quiet reflection on the horrors of war, the acts of bravery, and the awful consequences of modern warfare.
The Lord-Lieutenant attended Memorial Day at the Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-le-Ferne, with Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Andrew Pulford KCB CBE ADC RAF. A number of the Battle of Britain pilots were present for this annual gathering, and next year is the 75th anniversary of The Battle.
The Wing – a Visitor Centre – is under construction and will open in spring 2015. Despite the heavy rain early in the event, the weather improved sufficiently for the Service to take place. Wreaths were laid followed by the placing of flowers at the Foxley-Norris Wall of Remembrance. To everyone’s delight it was possible to hold a flying display of a Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft.
HRH the Duke of Kent visited the Kent Show on Friday 11th July, in his 39th year as Patron of the Kent Agricultural Society and opened the new Maidstone Pavilion.
During the tour of the building he visited the stand where David McDine DL was promoting his new book Unconquered – The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy, for which The Duke had provided the foreword. The book is published by The Allan Willett Foundation and any profit will go to Kent Charities, mainly in the field of medicine.
Following lunch with the President of the Kent Show, Lady Astor of Hever, His Royal Highness toured a number of stands including those of the Scouts and Young Farmers.
Kent’s in-coming civic heads were congratulated by The Queen’s representative in the County at a reception on 19th June to welcome them at the start of their year of office.
It was an opportunity for the new County, Borough and District Council Chairmen and Mayors from across the County to meet and get to know one another.
The reception was hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, and his wife, the Viscountess De L’Isle at their home, Penshurst Place.
He told the new civic heads: “Tonight is an opportunity to meet your respective Link Deputy Lieutenants that will support you during your term of office. I offer you my congratulations in being honoured as first citizens of your communities and wish you a happy, memorable and productive year ahead”.
Kent’s finest were recently honoured by The Queen with the presentation of their British Empire Medals (BEM). Chosen for their tireless community work and dedication, the 6 recipients were presented with their awards by Kent’s Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, The Queen’s representative in the county, at a special ceremonial event at his home, Penshurst Place near Tonbridge on Tuesday 29 April.
Mrs Bradley, from Horton Kirby, was awarded the British Empire Medal for over 44 years’ service to the community of Horton Kirby, including being a Scout Leader for 40 years with the local Scout Group. Since 1984 she has been involved with the Ellenor Lions Hospice and is an active volunteer and ambassador to the Hospice.
Mr Alan Castle from Ashford was recognised for services to music and heritage and has dedicated over 20 years to organising the annual Folk Day in Tenterden which has grown from being a very small occasion to a four-day annual event.
Mr Michael Dunning from Whitstable, had his 30 year dedication to the Brunswick Youth Club in Fulham recognised with a British Empire Medal for services to young people in the London area. His involvement with the Club has seen the membership grow to its full capacity with a waiting list for those wishing to join.
Mrs Michele Jones from Romney Marsh has dedicated 18 years to improving the lives of many young, vulnerable people in Kent, particularly in the Romney Marsh area. Her work with many youth clubs in the County is much valued and it is for her work with the young people that she has been recognised.
Mr Andrew Osborne from Faversham has been honoured for his services to the Almshouses Sheltered Accommodation in Faversham and his Chairmanship of the Faversham Municipal Charities for over 10 years.
Mrs Janet Tootal from West Malling has been recognised with the British Empire Medal for over 12 years dedicated support to the veterans of the Battle of Britain (known as ‘The Few’). She organises many fundraising events for the Battle of Britain Trust and she is held in high regard by the veterans and their families. In presenting the medals, the Lord-Lieutenant congratulated the recipients, on behalf of The Queen, for their dedicated work on behalf of others.
The Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Richard Oldfield, attended the East Kent launch of Unconquered at Canterbury Cathedral Shop, where the book is on sale, on 24th April. He told guests he had greatly enjoyed reading the book and regaled them with quotations from it, both the dramatic and the amusing. He also remarked how apt Sir Winston Churchill’s words, recorded in the book, were about Kent: ‘This glorious foreland of England, the shrine of its Christianity, the cradle of its institutions, the bulwark of its defence.’ Sir Winston was not only Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports but also a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.
The Dean of Canterbury, The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, who is a serving Deputy Lieutenant, welcomed guests and in particular the former Lord-Lieutenant, Allan Willett, whose charitable Foundation funded the book. Author David McDine and the book’s photographer Barry Duffield, who are both Deputy Lieutenants, were joined by artist Richard Barton chatting to guests about the research and production of Unconquered.
The Lord-Lieutenant congratulates the following companies, which have been granted The Queen’s Award for International Trade, 2014.
Founded in 2001, Jon Tibbs Associates Ltd (JTA) provides strategic brand building and communications consultancy in the international sports movement. It wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade having increased exports as a percentage of turnover from 47% to 68% over the last three years and achieving overseas earnings growth, particularly in the Olympic movement. The company’s strategy for growth is based on developing a creative and innovative approach to help clients meet their objectives and to promote positive change through sport. This has been achieved through a low key and personal approach to existing and new clients, based on word of mouth recommendations from existing key players within the industry.
Established in 1985, Marco Ltd manufactures intelligent fresh produce packaging equipment for pre-packed soft fruit, grapes, tomatoes, salads and vegetables. It wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade having grown its overseas sales over the last three years and increased its exports as a percentage of total turnover from 23.5% to 31%. It has established new business in North America, Peru, Portugal, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Denmark. Marco Ltd commits to market entry in two new countries each year. It has used the services of UK Trade & Investment to enter specific markets, which led directly to it picking up significant orders following its second visit to Chile.
Established in 1994, Maviga International (Holdings) Ltd supplies dried edible pulses (peas, beans, lentils and chick peas) and other special crops including sesame seeds. It wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade having grown overseas sales in a challenging market sector over the last three years. Maviga values long term relationships with both customers and suppliers and continues to invest in land, warehouses and processing equipment to uphold product quality control in both North America and Africa. It has established new business in Africa, the Far and Middle East over the last three years to add to its top markets of China, India, Turkey, Spain and Egypt.
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