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The memorialisation of the Great War in Folkestone, Canterbury and Dover, 1918-24

Donaldson, Peter (2005) The memorialisation of the Great War in Folkestone, Canterbury and Dover, 1918-24. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86324) (KAR id:86324)


The aim of the thesis is to explore the spate of memorial construction that took place at civic and local level in the immediate aftermath of the Great War. At the heart of the study lies an examination of the layering of memory in this commemorative activity as the war dead were remembered in their various different roles, as citizens, work colleagues, school alumni, club members, parishioners, regimental comrades and, of course, fathers, husbands and sons. The study concentrates on the major urban centres of Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover, each of which experienced something of a revival during the war years, Canterbury as the spiritual home of the nation and Folkestone and Dover as key military sites acting as lifelines between England and the Western Front. Thus, from a civic perspective, remembrance of the war dead was as much about the collective as the individual, about pride rather than loss. Yet, at subcivic level, local communities and organisations, with their own agendas to pursue, were also recalling the fallen from a more intimate viewpoint. It is the impact of these conflicting claims, the tension that existed within this complex matrix of remembrance and the extent to which the memory of the fallen was shaped by the demands of competing schemes that forms the basis of this study. In particular the focus falls on the memorialisation process itself, the debates over form and style, the rituals of naming and financing and the ceremonies for unveiling and dedication, for it was in this often lengthy and convoluted process that those in authority could assume control over the rites of mourning and transform private grief into a public narrative.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Welch, David
Thesis advisor: Connelly, Mark L.
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86324
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I (1914-1918)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II (1939-1945)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:51 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2021 15:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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