Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Shorncliffe Barracks and Military Cemetery.

I occasionally have cause to pass Shorncliffe Barracks and Military Cemetery, set high on the hills overlooking Folkestone and out across the English Channel. Shorncliffe has a long association with the British Army, the Light Infantry were trained there under Sir John Moore and the 95th Rifles are probably one of the best known units to have learned their trade at Shorncliffe. During WW1 it was the final stop off before heading to France and there are many images of columns of happy, smiling soldiers making the short march down towards the Harbour. I know that my own Grandfather Alfred Gramson made that same march as part of the British Expeditionary Force, having trained at Canterbury Barracks before being sent to Shorncliffe prior to departure.

Shorncliffe Military Cemetery contains over 600 Commonwealth War Graves, 470 from WW1 including 300 Canadians, it is set beside the barracks on the hillside and is a sobering place to visit. Three recipients of The Victoria Cross are also buried there:

Private Patrick McHale (1826-1866), Royal Artillery, Indian Mutiny
Sergeant Joseph Charles Brennan (1818-1872), 5th Regiment of Foot, Indian Mutiny
Private John Doogan (1853-1940), King's Dragoon Guards, First Boer War


  1. Nice post, Lee - interesting. That general view of the cemetery - is the big monument just a general war memorial or is it for some big-wig?

  2. Hello Tony - that's a general War Memorial at the bottom. The cemetery sits directly opposite the barracks, it's a sobering place. Much of the barracks is closed now but the Gurkhas are still based there and there is a strong Nepalese community around there, they are some of the friendliest people you could meet. Time Team did a dig at Shorncliffe Redoubt a few years ago, well worth a watch.


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