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Shorncliffe WW1 Trenches, Sandgate, Kent


Guest 95thrifleman
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Guest 95thrifleman

Dear All,

Prior to our society taking over Shorncliffe Redoubt and heritage park, we need to assess to potential military archaeology on the site.

Shorncliffe was made famous by Sir John Moore and the 95th Rifles in 1803 and is the birthplace of the British Light Infantry. During WW1 it saw countless regiments pass through on their way to the front and became home to the Canadians, some thing the locals still mark today due to the soldiers kindness to the local community.

One of our primary objectives is to rebuild and regenerate the World War 1 trench system on the site for educational purposes. We plan to make these trenches live again with the men, sounds and even smells of how they were 90 years ago. Students and visitors will be able to get an accurate feel of what it was like to train for the horrors of France and Belgium and follow in their footsteps of Grandfathers and family members.

We will be holding this event on Sunday 29th March 2009. To volunteer for this project please join as a member of the SRPS http://www.shornclifferedoubt.com/index_files/Page792.htm and indicate you would like to be involved on the 29th. Members will be contacted directly. We only require a limited number of people for the survey and this event will be physically challenging. All member applicants will be taken on a first come first served basis, contact details are on the poster attached. All visitors/spectators are welcome to watch and support us on the day. Please feel free to pass this onto friends.

I hope Shorncliffe and the men who dug and trained in the trenches can count on your support.

Best wishes

Chris Shaw

Chairman.

post-31664-1236561332.jpg

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Chris, nice to see you on the GWF. I will of course be there.

Charles

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Just bumping this one up again. Hopefully will get to meet some more GWF members from Folkestone/East Kent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few trenches were surveyed. However, it is early days and will be a while before the site is fully surveyed. The trench system appears to be bigger than we had at first thought.

We are trying to track down aerial photos, sketchmaps etc which might help. If you should come across anything like that in Canada we would be most grateful to hear of it.

Thanks to the R Sussex Regiment living history group for attending in full kit.

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One possibility for old maps might be to check the Canadian War Diaries (link below) as I have often seen various maps included in the diary collections.

One possibility might be to check the war diaries for a C.E.F. unit known to be training or stationed at Shorncliffe, and look through the entries during the time frame they were stationed there. Even if maps are not located, there should be bits and pieces of additional useful information.

Link to Canadian War diaries:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/archivi...02015202_e.html

Link to Canadian War diaries specific to Shorncliffe:

http://data4.collectionscanada.gc.ca/netac...amp;r=0&f=S

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Another thing you could try is to look through this old Canadian silent film from 1918 showing training at Shorncliffe.

http://www3.nfb.ca/ww1/building-a-force-film.php?id=531245

Another film from 1917 does not specify the location, but it is in England in a training camp. A mock battle is shown, and if you look through the film you may be able to tell from your experience whether it appears to be Shorncliffe.

http://www3.nfb.ca/ww1/building-a-force-film.php?id=538516

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Thanks for those canadawwi. The list of war diaries has been on my list of things to work through for some time, but I just havent had the time to do so yet. There were several other camps in the area such as Dibgate, Otterpool and East and West Sandling camps for which I am trying to track down plans.

The films are great and I have posted those two on here before, but no harm in having them posted multiple times. The second one is at Shorncliffe. In the last few frames one can see Shorncliffe Mil Cemetery on the hillside in the background. The track would appear to be Sandy Lane and the trenches beside the fence would appear to be the ones that are visible today.

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This is very interesting for me as I was based at Shorncliffe in 1986 when it was the Junior Infantry Leaders Batallion. I have fond memories of conducting section battle drills and patrol tactics around Sandy lane. 'Slags Alley' is another that comes to mind but I'll leave that one for now as this is a family forum!

Another curiosity was the Public Footpath which ran through part of the camp!! I never understood the motives of one local who would walk his dog past the accomodation blocks in the morning just as a couple of hundred young men would all be getting dressed!!

Steve

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Guest wanderingraven

It would have been great to be involved in the survey at Shorncliffe, but I didn't hear about it until now. I am a Canadian living at Hastings. My two uncles spent considerable time at Shorncliffe in 1917, and at Dibgate Camp. I have an interest in landscape archaeology.

I have many letters they sent home from there, but these included no information about the camps. They were very carefull about writing any information that could have been sensitive. At one point they commented on the balloon attack at Folkstone, but never hinted that there was an attack with casualties at Shorncliffe!

Forgive my ignorance, but are any of these places accessible to the public at present?

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An interesting area, having in the past been in contact with a Canadian veteran who serevd here, and myself also having spent time there, albeit in the 1990s. I wonder what relics are left on the downs nearby. For anyone going to the area, the cemeteries in Dover are of interest.

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