St Mary & St Eanswythe, Folkestone history
Church Exterior
St Mary & St Eanswythe, Folkestone heritage
Matthew Woodward
St Mary & St Eanswythe, Folkestone architecture
St Eanswythe
St Mary & St Eanswythe, Folkestone historical buildings
Church Interior Carving
St Mary & St Eanswythe, Folkestone history of art

The WWI War Memorial

This coppered-bronze Memorial Tablet is now mounted in St. George’s Chapel, in the alcove to the right (i.e. – the south) of the nave pulpit. It measures 30(w) x 28(h) inches. It was originally installed on the wooden Shrine which still (c.2016) stands at the Church Street entrance to the churchyard. The Tablet was moved into the Church in 1993, as the Shrine was falling into disrepair. Sixty-nine men of the war dead of the parish and congregation are recorded upon it. Biographical details are given below.

The idea of a war memorial Shrine had been announced at the Annual Parish Vestry Meeting of 12th April 1917. The Vicar (The Rev. Canon P.F. Tindall) reported that he had been approached by the Mayor Sir Stephen Penfold and other townsmen about the erection of a Shrine to the memory of those men of the parish who had fallen in the war. Sir Stephen’s son Lieutenant Jeffrey Penfold had been killed on 28th January 1916.
The Vicar had already received several designs by the meeting date, none of which had suited him. But a “London man” had sent a design “much more in accordance with what [the Vicar] thought it ought to be”, and it was submitted to the meeting for approval. Its estimated cost was £73 to £75, which was met by subscription. The Mayor and Rev.
Tindall each subscribed 5 guineas.

The Shrine was dedicated on 31st October 1917. One newspaper account of the ceremony describes the, then only 39, casualties’ names being inscribed on marble. Contemporary images show the design was very similar to the present layout. The Shrine was for some years the focus of Folkestone’s remembrance. Reporting the Town’s commemoration event in 1920, the Folkestone Express noted that “a large number of floral tributes were placed on the War Shrine at the entrance to the Parish Church.”

The Folkestone Express of 3rd November 1917 reported the Shrine’s dedication: “The War Shrine in the Churchyard of the Parish Church was dedicated on
Wednesday afternoon [31st October] in the presence of a large assembly, including the Mayor (Sir Stephen Penfold) who read his gallant son’s name on the Roll of Honour. No more fitting occasion could have been chosen for the ceremony than the anniversary of the first Battle of Ypres, possibly the most serious point in the whole war.
“The shrine is an impressive structure, beautiful in its oaken simplicity. Beneath its red-tiled roof is a large crucifix, and below are panels which all those who pass by may read: ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ Then follow 39 names – ‘the names of men from the parish and congregation who have given their lives for their King and Country.’ ‘Grant to them, O Lord, Eternal Rest, and may Light Eternal shine upon them.’
“The architect was Mr. H.T. Edwards, The Warren Guild, and the builders were Messrs. A.R. Mowbray & Co. Ltd, London.
“The dedication service was conducted by the Vicar (The Rev. Canon Tindall). Also taking part were the churchwardens, the clergy (led by the Ceremonial Cross), members of the Folkestone Company of the Kent Volunteer Regiment] and members of The Boys’ Brigade. The first hymn sung was ‘Oh God of Love, h King of Peace’, and after the Blessing of the Shrine the Volunteers gave the General Salute while the trumpeters sounded ‘The Last Post’. The hymn sung as the choir and people returned to the church was ;Thy Kingdom come, O God’, and the hymns in the sacred fane were ‘Let Saints on earth in concert sing’, ‘They whose course on earth is o’er’, and ‘O God our help in ages past’, concluding with the National Anthem. There was no address, but the Vicar offered additional prayers in the Church. As the congregation left, the poignant music of ‘Blest are the Departed’ sobbed from the organ.”

Names of subsequent casualties were added, written on stout cards. In October 1922 it was decided to mount the names in relief on “copper plates”, at an additional cost of £10. A request was also put out for any additional men’s’ names to be given to the Vicar.

The Folkestone Herald of 5th May 1923 reported that the present metal plate, or tablet, had been fitted to the War Shrine:
“The War Shrine in the Parish Churchyard has now been fitted with a permanent bronze plate, bearing the names of the fallen men in place of the cards, which were only ever intended to be temporary. The permanent plate, which was designed by Mr.
H. Evans, and executed by Mr. C.H. Stevens, has met with universal approbation.”

Located in the north-west corner of the North Transept are two framed, hand-written Roll of Honour scrolls which list sixty one names of World War One casualties. The right- hand Roll of Honour scroll also lists twenty-two casualties of World War Two.
St Mary & St Eanswythe, Folkestone
who we are
The Friends of St Mary and St Eanswythe Parish Church began on 21st March 2014 and is dedicated to the preservation of St Mary and St Eanswythe's Church.

Contact Us

Go to Contacts Page
what we do
Our sole aim is to raise funds all of which will be devoted to the upkeep of the building and to the furthering of public understanding of its history, architecture and significance.