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History in the making

History in the making

Construction of one of the only physical monuments being built in Britain to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of World War One has begun.

The memorial arch at Folkestone is being delivered by Lend Lease, the integrated property and infrastructure group. The arch will be erected over the route  taken by circa 10 million British, Canadian, American, Australian and Asian troops between 1914 and 1918.The coastal town in Kent was the main port of embarkation to and from the trenches of the Western Front.

The £500,000 project, part of the Step Short initiative, will see an area of the Leas, on the Folkestone Sea Front, transformed into a memorial comprising a 14 metre tall stainless steel arch spanning a stone compass.

Damian Collins, the MP for Folkestone and Hythe who is Step Short’s Project Chairman, said:

“With work on site now underway, we are one step closer to delivering this important and historic memorial, which will serve as a physical reminder of the ten million servicemen and women and medical staff who passed through Folkestone during the war.

“The name – Step Short – is drawn from the large numbers of these personnel who assembled outside the Grand Hotel, on the cliff tops, and marched down the Slope Road to the harbour and the ships waiting to take them to France. As they descended the command was given to ‘Step Short’, so that they did not lose their footing marching downhill carrying heavy packs, and it is these people that we are remembering. I would like to thank Lend Lease for donating their services to project manage the design, procurement and delivery of the arch, and the support of their Supply chain to date.”

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