Prince Harry and the Chairman of Step Short, Damian Collins MP

Prince Harry opens 'Step Short' Arch remembering the millions who sailed to war from Channel port of Folkestone

Posted on on 04 August 2014
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Prince Harry has inaugurated a commemorative arch in Folkestone, dedicated to the heroism and sacrifice of those who passed through the English Channel port on their way to the Western Front.

The project has been led by Step Short, an educational charity which takes its name from the order given to troops as they marched down a steep hill to Folkestone Harbour during the First World War.

Shortening their stride enabled the troops to safely descend what is now known as the Road of Remembrance.

Prince Harry, a serving officer in the British Army, unveiled a plaque on the stainless steel arch overlooking the sea on Folkestone's cliffs.

The ceremony took place on August 4th 2014, the 100th anniversary of Britain declaring war on Germany.

After laying a wreath at the town's War Memorial, the Prince took the salute at a march-past and then followed the parade down the Road of Remembrance where the order to 'Step Short' was again heard.

600 white balloons, bearing red poppies, were released during a ceremony at the harbour, reflecting the number of names on the War Memorial.

Millions of men and women from the Allied powers, nurses and civilians as well as soldiers, arrived in Folkestone during the First World War to board ship for France.

Damian Collins, Step Short Chairman and the town's MP, says: "The part Folkestone played during the war years, and the heroism and sacrifice of all those who passed through the town, deserves to be recognised and cherished.

"That is what Step Short set out to achieve and the commemorative arch on The Leas is just one small part of a long and important story."

Source: Step Short

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News, reporting from Folkestone