Welcome to our Events page
Arranged in date order, simply scroll down to find out what’s on. Then put it in your diary! If you wish to see an event featured here, or have any other comments please email: [email protected]
Step Short Annual March, 22 July 2018, 10.30am meet at Leas Cliff Hall on the Leas, Folkestone
Meet Step Short, Dymchurch British Legion and other local groups at the Leas Cliff Hall and march to the Memorial Arch for a service. More details of special 2018 centenary events to follow.
‘A Good Reputation Endures Forever’, A History of the Chinese Labour Corps in World War I, Folkestone Museum, Guildhall Street, 31 January to 17 March 2018
Find out more about the Chinese workers who were based in Folkestone during the First World War.
Step Short Genealogy Days, 1st Saturday of every month, 10.00am to 4.00pm, Mole Cafe, Folkestone Harbour Arm
Come and chat to our resident genealogist Mark Simmons (also Step Short's Membership Secretary) and learn how to uncover your family's World War 1 story, and more. Runs during the summer season.
Step Short Annual March, 6 August 2017, 10.30am meet at Leas Cliff Hall on the Leas, Folkestone
Meet Step Short, Dymchurch British Legion and other local groups at the Leas Cliff Hall and march to the Memorial Arch for a service in commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele at 11.00am.
Centenary of Passchendaele, Third Battle of Ypres (31 July to 6 November 1917), UK remembrance event, 30 & 31 July 2017
Tontine St Air Raid Centenary, 25 May 2017, from 2pm (memorial service at 5pm) at Folkestone Methodist Church, Sandgate Rd
Remember those men, women and children lost in the devastating WW1 bomb dropped on Folkestone in 1917.
Dymchurch Royal British Legion service, first Sunday of every month, 10.30am at the Memorial Arch on the Leas, Folkestone
Poppies on the Leas, 19 November 2016
A special ceremony beginning at 11am to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme. This open event will include the symbolic planting of 1,000 metal poppies by local schoolchildren and a short ceremony attended by Folkestone's Mayor, Martin Salmon.
Annual remembrance service from 10.30am to 11.30am.
Armistice Day, 11 November 2016, Cheriton Rd Cemetery, Folkestone
Machine Gun Corps Ceremony: Short service and two minute silence held at 11am. Also, live webcast of Royal British Legion 'Silence in the Square' event from Trafalgar Square, London.
Step Short Annual General Meeting, 11 November 2016, 7pm at the Grand Hotel, Folkestone
Project New Earth, 13 October 2016, Folkestone Quarterhouse
Celebrating the contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps in World War I, including those based at Shorncliffe, Folkestone. Creative performances followed by talks between David Tse of Chinese Arts Space and local historian Karen Chang.
War and Peace Revival, 19 - 23 July 2016, Folkestone Racecourse
A celebration of military vehicles and vintage lifestyle at the old racecourse, near Westenhanger Station, Hythe, Kent. Come and say hello at the Step Short stand!
Past events for the 2014 centenary
Step Short has teamed up with the National Army Museum and Folkestone Town Council
In an exhibition that complements that at the Sassoon Room (see below) you can explore the first few weeks of war in 1914. Called ‘Your Country Calls: Enlistment to Embarkation’ original images have been enlarged and colour rendered to give the visitor a sense of ‘being there’. This exhibition will run until spring of 1915 and will be supplemented with new displays with regular talks and events. To find out more, visit the website.
Folkestone in the Great War – New Exhibition now open
Come along and share our new WW1 exhibition in Folkestone. An impressive collection of photographs, paintings, artefacts and memorabilia will provide you with a real and lasting impression of our town during the war, and will demonstrate why it became such an important place for many of the men and women who took part in the conflict.
The exhibition is suitbale for all ages. If you would like to bring a school or other group, please let us know in advance and we will be able to provide expert guides. Email: [email protected]
Below is a selection of photos from the exhibition. These give only a glimpse of what you will find.
August 4th 2014
Full details of the unveiling by Prince Harry of the Step Short Commoration Arch are still being finalised. As soon as the details are settled they will be published here.
In the meantime, we can announce some of the events taking place in Folkestone on the day.
BBC Touring Event in Folkestone on 4 August
The BBC has released details of the BBC World War One At Home Live Event that will be in Folkestone on 4 August, the day the commemorative arch on The Leas is to be dedicated by Prince Harry.
The special event, which will be sited in the harbour car park, will reflect the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities across Kent and help people to explore their own family links to the war.
The touring event, hosted in Folkestone by BBC Radio Kent, is part of a number of events taking place that day as the town – inspired by work of the Step Short educational charity – remembers the sacrifices made by the millions of men and women who marched down the Road of Remembrance to the harbour and a boat to the continent.
Alongside the royal event at the arch on The Leas, which will be preceded by military and civilian parades, there will be World War One-themed musical entertainment at the Leas Cliff Hall – called Keep the Home Fires Burning – which will begin at 7.30pm and end in time for the torchlight parade.
The torchlight parade will form up outside the bandstand on the Leas ready to set off for the war memorial, via the commemorative arch, at 10pm. After a short service and two minutes’ silence the lights will be extinguished at 11pm.
The BBC event will run throughout the day, from 10am to 5pm and will be free to visit. It is family-friendly and includes hands-on activities, performances and interactive sessions designed to appeal to everyone aged from eight to 80.
Visitors will be able to make their own ID Permits and meet Imperial War Museum experts to find out more about how they can help piece together their First World War connections and create a permanent digital memorial.
The events bring to life the World War One At Home stories that have been broadcast on BBC Radio Kent and from other BBC local radio stations across the country this year. Visitors will also have the chance to meet the team from BBC Radio Kent as they broadcast from the event throughout the day.
Gordon Davidson, BBC Radio Kent’s Editor, said: ”Our aim is to give people a deeper insight into life on the home front 100 years ago and to enable them to find out more about their own families’ involvement.
“There will be an opportunity to learn about the role of the Royal Engineers, who delivered post from the home front to the front line. Visitors will be able to try on a uniform, read original World War One letters and have a go at designing a wartime postcard.
“There will also be the chance to discover how Scouts 100 years ago helped to protect the Kent coastline using semaphore and opportunities to send a secret, coded message, take part in a medical drill and learn how nurses practiced vital wartime skills in Kentish training camps.”
World War One At Home is featuring 1,400 stories on BBC local radio and online about life on the Home Front. See www.bbc.co.uk/ww1 for more information or tune into BBC Radio Kent during the week commencing Monday 4 August to hear the latest stories.
The 4 August event coincides with the broadcast of the first episode of an ambitious Radio 4 drama, Home Front, set in Folkestone. This original drama will feature 500 episodes between now and 2018, each around 12 minutes long. The project follows the progress of the war in ‘real time’ a century later, following the lives of a series of characters as they confront the challenges and changes that beset a nation facing its first experience of total war.
Folkestone is also host to two major First World War-themed exhibitions. The National Army Museum’s Your Country Calls: Enlistment to Embarkation exhibition will be in Folkestone Town Hall until May 2015 and a second exhibition entitled Folkestone in the Great War, which includes artefacts as well as photographs and has been organised by the Folkestone and District Local History Society, Folkestone Camera Club and Step Short and will be in the Sassoon Room at Folkestone Library until 21 September 2014.
Finally, the Step Short HQ at the Hub in the Tram Road car park (formerly the Tourist Information Centre) will house a semi-permanent museum of local WW1 history, with artefacts, photos and some rather unusual exhibits! Check for opening hours by contacting [email protected]
The single most important event of 2014 will take place on Monday 4th August, 100 years to the day since Britain entered the war.
This will be the day of the Commemorative March
Full details will be unveiled shortly, but it is going to be an event of National importance. It will also be the occasion of the public unveiling of the Memorial Arch.
Throughout the year we will arrange guided walks to some of the key sites in Folkestone associated with the Great War. In the meantime, below is a map with the route of a suggested self-guided walk.