Shorncliffe Military Cemetery
Starting in 1915, up to 50,000 Canadian soldiers from the 2nd Division were stationed at Shorncliffe Camp in Kent, U.K. at any given time; it was said to have become a suburb of Toronto. The men created an impact on the community, and the local population on the soldiers. Prior to their return to Canada they soldiers donated eight stained glass windows, which were located in Shorncliffe Station (now stored at the National Rail Museum in York)..
Many of the men from the 2nd Division went on to fight on the continent; some 296 remain, buried in the Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.
Every year since 1917, with the exception 1939-1945, the local population has held a Canada Day ceremony. Children from the local Folkestone school are assigned the grave of one of the Canadians, and after the prayers and speeches the child lays a small bunch of flowers on each headstone.
The Canadian Army and veterans also attend the ceremony.
In this way, the soldiers are guaranteed that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Some photographs from the 2003 Ceremony.
All photos are copyright 2003 by Mike George and used with permission. Clicking on the pictures will bring up a larger image.
Thanks to Mike George for bringing this memorial service to my attention and for allowing the use of his pictures from the 2003 service. Mike goes to the local schools to talk to the children about the war, and the role of the Canadians. You can visit his Coasts of Conflict website for more photos and information on the area. Mike has also written a book on the area, with a chapter on the Canadians and a chapter on the Cemetery.
Chris Henzler has provided some additional photographs of Shorncliffe, taken in September 2006.