Remembrance services and events in Thanet 2018

RBL Festival of Remembrance

This year Remembrance will mark the milestone of 100 years since the end of the First World War.

World War One began on July 28, 1914, ignited by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The conflict lasted four years, three months and 14 days, ending on November 11, 1918.

Almost 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel were killed during the conflict.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War One officially ended when an armistice was signed by Germany and the Allies.

Armistice Day is commemorated each year when people wear paper poppies to remember those who fought and died in conflicts around the world – the red flowers were the only life to flourish on the bloody battlefields of Western Europe.

It was hoped the Great War would be the conflict to end all wars. Just 21 years later World War Two broke out.

Thanet will mark the centenary with a number of events and Remembrance services.


Saturday, November 10 at 10.50am

Wreath laying and service at Ramsgate Cemetery

Sunday, November 11 at 8.30am

Photo Brian Whitehead

Wreath laying ceremony at the Destiny statue in Albion Gardens. This will be followed by the Remembrance day parade starting in Elms Avenue at 10.40am marching via Queen Street, King Street & Broad Street to St George’s Church in Church Hill where there will be a service.

Thursday, November 1, from 10am

The Crafty Poppies group will install 8000 crocheted poppies along the railings and around the Destiny statue in Albion Gardens.

Sunday, November 11, 2pm

Animals in War Memorial, weather permitting, at Albion Gardens. Please bring purple flowers and wreaths for the animals. There will be white and purple poppies on sale at this event. All monies collected at stalls and Animals in War memorial will be going to Guardian Angels Dog Rescue, Thanet

Events at St Laurence Parish Hall, High Street, St Lawrence

Friday, November 2, 6.30pm for 7pm start

The Last 100 Days of World War One at

An interesting, illustrated talk by Melanie Gibson-Barton -From Paeschendale to Peace.

Cost £7 including light supper. Pre- booking appreciated for catering. Call 01843 592478

Friday, November 9, 6.30pm for 7pm

Birchington Silver Band concert to mark the Armistice centenary

Tickets £7. Refreshments during the interval, which will be followed by World War One popular songs.

Tickets available from the Parish Office on 01843 592478

Saturday, November 10, 10am to 2pm

There will be a small exhibition in the Church of World War One artefacts and information about the effects  the conflict had on St Lawrence.

At 11.30am there will be a tour of the war memorials and war graves in the church and churchyard

Sunday, November 11, 11am

Act of Remembrance  service at St Laurence War Memorial. At 7.05pm the  ringing of the church bells will take place as part of national Ring out for Peace event.


November 2, Margate Winter Gardens, 7.15pm (doors open at 6pm)

The Royal British Legion leads a Festival of Remembrance with the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Parade of Service Representatives and Standards.

The festival is an opportunity to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women and remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.

The festival is the largest in the country apart from the Albert Hall event. Terry Whittles, the national Chairman of the RBL, will be guest of honour. There will also be a singalong session and music for dancing.

Tier 1 £8.50
Tier 2 £7.50
Tier 3 £6.50
Booking fees – 50p in person/phone

Call 01843 292795 or click here

Sunday, November 11, Remembrance service

Town war memorial, Trinity Square, 10.48am.

The civic mayor’s procession along Northdown Road to the memorial followed by wreath laying. In the evening, the Margate beacon on Fort Hill will be lit at 7p. and the Mayor and Charter Trustees will process to Fort Hill led by a piper. The trustees are also making arrangements for a short fund-raising event to follow the beacon lighting.


Poppy Proms and service

Pottery poppies made by young people at Bradstow School as part of the project

Events will start at the Memorial Recreation Ground 1914-1918 (commonly known as the Memorial Ground) in Broadstairs on Saturday, November 10, with a living history exhibit of life during 1914-1918. This exhibit will give a glimpse into the home front and beyond giving specific detail to events in Broadstairs and St Peters.

Local schools, dance companies, inclusive choirs, theatre groups and local musicians, will work side by side to bring the Poppy Proms in the Park to life. Stories from the home front and beyond will be told using acting, dance, song and music.

On Sunday, November 11 the Remembrance Day service will be held by the war memorial in town with all groups attending invited to join a reprise of the Poppy Proms at the Memorial Ground and visit the Living History exhibit, which will be open until 3pm.

Gadds’ Warhorse beer will be available at the event, alongside other food and drink.

The event will be free, but tickets will be required for the collaborative evening on the Saturday and the reprise on the Sunday.

The Poppy Proms event has been organised by Bradstow School.

There will also be a beacon lighting ceremony beacon lighting ceremony on the Sunday evening at Victoria Gardens.

People are asked to arrive at 6.45pm for the lighting at 7pm.

Poetry reading

November 11, York Street Methodist Church, 3pm

Readings to raise funds for Help for Heroes from residents including Melissa and Steven Todd, Janet and Jane Pitt, Stephen and Jane Skinner, Lester Hovenden and Bob Brown.


Poppy display at Atwells

November 11, St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Minster

6.40pm: Piper plays ‘The Battle’s O’er’
6.45pm: Proclamation from her Majesty the Queen
6.55pm: The Last Post and Reveille
7pm: Beacon Lighting
7.05pm: Church bells ring out and fireworks
7.10pm: Piper plays ‘Black Bear’

This event is supported by MPC, KCC and RBL


Sunday, November 11

Remembrance service and parade, 11.30am to 12.30pm

Parade forms up at 11.30am outside St Saviour’s Church, leaving at 11.45am and heading to the war memorial in Sea Road. Service followed by refreshments at Christ Church United Reformed Church in Westgate Bay Avenue.

Beacon lighting with Westgate Town Council, 5.30pm-7.15pm, to remember the Fallen Men of Westgate-on-Sea.

Meeting in front of RNAS – Royal Naval Air Service (Sea Plane Base) Memorial in front of beach huts.

Thanet Big Sing Community Choir  performance.

The Beacon will be lit at 7pm. Refreshments available from Millie’s Beach Bar

Poem recital and a short service led by Reverend Kalu.


Photo Alan Green

Sunday, November 11

Birchington’s parade is organised by Birchington British Legion. Meet at Alpha rRoad car park from 10.30am for the parade through the village to The Square for the wreath laying service at 11am. Following this will be the Remembrance Service at All Saints Church.

This is followed by the Beacon Lighting at Epple Bay from 6.30pm. There will be a performance by the Birchington Silver Band with the beacon lighting at 7pm,

Westwood Cross

Photo Clive Richards

A display of poppies created out of used plastic bottles will be unveiled at Westwood Cross to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

Westwood Cross has been working with Thanet artist Sioux Peto to create a stunning community art installation consisting of hundreds of the handmade poppies. The Westwood Cross Poppy Project has more than 500 poppies created so far in special workshops with groups including East Kent Mencap, The Gap Project, Minster Church of England Primary School and 1st St Lawrence Scout Group as well as individuals, staff and children during half the October half term.

The display will be unveiled as part of a Remembrance procession on Saturday (November 10) at 10am. Everyone is invited to join the procession at the Viking Ship Sundial, near Next at Westwood Cross. The procession will then make its way to the Memorial Wall where the Minster Church of England School choir will perform and a short service will take place.

Also attending the event will be representatives from the Royal Air Force, Army and Sea Cadets. A variety of vintage military vehicles will be on display with members of a local re-enactment group dressing in vintage style clothing. Armed Forces charity, SSAFA will be in attendance, joined by current and ex-service men and women to pay their respects.


  • Parade begins at 10am to the Memorial Wall from the Viking Shop Sundial outside Next
  • Poppy art installation is revealed
  • Performance from Minster Church of England Primary School choir
  • Reading “We will remember them”
  • Poem by ex-servicemen and Cub Scout
  • 10:45am Parade ends with Land of Hope and Glory, vintage entertainment and military vehicles will remain at the centre until 3pm

Margate Museum

Thirteen sitting soldier silhouettes. 12 represent the 440 service personnel killed and 1 represents the 18 civilians killed either by bombs or the ammunition factory accident at Faversham.

The Museum has two Great War exhibitions.

The First is the story of Rev David Railton, Vicar of St Johns Church Margate 1920 to 1925. He is the man responsible the creation of the Tomb of The Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

The second is to commemorate the Armistice on 11th November 1918 and the remembrance of the 444 Service personnel and 18 Civilians who lost their lives during the conflict.

This exhibition called “There But Not There” includes the Perspex cut outs which represent the Service personnel and two civilians,

One story uncovered includes a bombing run by a German seaplane . On March 1, 1916 a seaplane flew over Cliftonville and dropped a bomb on 5 Norfolk Road. The bomb fell through the roof and exploded on the nursery where Jack Wepstour Dodman lay in his crib. He was killed instantly as he slept. He was only 9 months old.

Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School

The 100 years since the end of the Great War is also being marked by staff and pupils at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School.

It is also 100 years since the deaths, during the conflict, of Arthur Lewis Thomas (24th April 1918) and John William Mann (22nd August 1918). Both men taught at the Ramsgate County School (RCS) a forerunner of today’s grammar school. Houses Mann Somerville (MS) and Thomas Sharman (TS) are named in their memory.

Dr Tebutt (former Head of Thomas’) and  Mr Ferguson (Head of Mann Somerville) will be journeying in April to France to visit the Somme Pozieres Memorial where there is an inscription for Thomas and the Franviller Communal Cemetery Extension where Mann rests to lay wreaths in their honour on behalf of the school.

The book of remembrance, which is kept in the Chatham site library, includes the names of 14 more students/teachers who gave their lives between 1914 and 1918.

The charity Remembered inspired the school to commemorate their own history by joining in their project to bring the names of the fallen out of the pages of a book and amongst us.

To mark this the school has installed two life sized sculptures based on the Tommy silhouette to represent their fallen.

Pembroke Court, Ramsgate

Residents at Pembroke Court in Ramsgate have created a display of poppies for the men and animals that died during both wars.

There is also memorabilia from resident Tina Benson’s grandfather in World War One and father in World War Two who was a prisoner of war.

The residents will be holding their own Remembrance service on Sunday at 11am.

Sunday League football

Teams in the Sunday league due to kick off at 10.30am will hold one minute’s silence before the start of games. Some teams had requested an 11.05am start so the silence could be held at the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month but have been told this is not possible despite teams in Ashford, Dover and Maidstone changing their kick off.

Teams say they may still stop when the cannons are fired at 11am.


  1. I would just like to remark that the remembrance parade at Margate this year considering it was the 100th anniversary was a total shambles, there was no structure and the officials did not seem to know what they were doing. As an ex serviceman I was embarrassed by what went on.

    • It reminds you of the farcical ‘Dads Army’ TV series. It could be comical if it wasn’t the Armistice Remembrance Service, a time when you need everything to perform perfectly.

  2. The Margate parade has always begun outside St Paul’s Church in Northdown Road for the march down to the cenotaph in Trinity Square but for the last few years they have cut the route very short by leaving from Zion Place instead. I don’t know who’s fabulous idea this was, I really hope it wasn’t because of all the foreign traders shops open along the route on Sundays as some have said, but I would like to see the organisers restore it back to it’s traditional starting point so we can all watch the bands march down the road with pride once again.

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