Shorncliffe Military Cemetery in Kent

Charity 'shines a light' for soldiers buried at cemetery on England's Channel coast

Posted on on 29 July 2014
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Lanterns will be lit on the graves of 550 soldiers at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery on the Kent coast on August 4th 2014, the Centenary of Britain's entry into the First World War.

The tribute is being organised by the Shorncliffe Trust 'to shine a light on the men who have paid the ultimate sacrifice' from 1914 to the present day.

It's looking for each of the 550 lanterns to be sponsored and placed by the headstones or memorials of those commemorated there. 

The ceremony takes place at 11pm on August 4th, as the 'Lights Out' Centenary event across the UK comes to an end.

People are being asked to turn off all but a single light for an hour from 10pm to recall Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey's warning in 1914 of the 'lamps going out all over Europe.' 

At the darkest hour, the Shorncliffe Trust says it wants to show the world that the British, Commonwealth, Belgian and Chinese men who 'take their rest on a hill in Kent' have not been forgotten.

The Shorncliffe Trust is campaigning to build a heritage park and education centre in their memory. Proceeds from the event will go towards the project and fighting to save Shorncliffe  Camp from redevelopment.

Shorncliffe Camp, near the Channel port of Folkestone, has played an important part in British military history since the Napoleonic wars. The earliest burial in the cemetery dates from 1804.

Three 19th Century winners of the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest military award for gallantry, are buried there.

During the First World War, Shorncliffe was a staging post for troops being sent to the Western Front.

More details of the Shorncliffe Trust's 'Light in the Darkest Hour' event, and how to get involved, can be found here

Further information about the 'Lights Out' event, part of the UK's 14-18 NOW Centenary cultural programme, is available here.

Information and images supplied by the Shorncliffe Trust

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News