25th May 1917, Folkestone, Kent

25th May 2017

On Friday 25th May 1917 a flight of Gotha planes were returning from an aborted raid on
London. They shed their bombs in Kent and particularly on Folkestone. Some attacked
Shorncliffe Camp, where 18 were killed, 16 being Canadian Sevicemen, and many others
were injured. Full Details HERE

Other aircraft targeted the Station area, but the worst damage was in Tontine Street
when at 6.22pm just one single bomb fell right outside Stokes Brothers Greengrocers
and opposite Gosnold Brothers Drapery.

It was a sunny Friday of the Bank Holiday Weekend, the Street was crowded with civilians,
workers, shoppers and children and the deaths and injuries were terrible.

63 were killed there (two of whom died later having never recovered from their injuries).
Of these there were 10 men, 28 women and 25 children. More than 100 were injured.
In the surrounding area a further 18 were killed and more were injured.


A Memorial Service to all those killed and injured in the Raid was held on 25th May 2017 at 5.00pm in The Methodist Church, Sandgate Road, Folkestone. It was a Service to remember the largest single incidence of Civilian Casualties outside London in WW1.

More than one hundred people attended the service many being descendents of the victims of the raid. Information on the raid was provided by the Folkestone and District Family History Society, The Maidstone Record Office, by Martin Easdown a local historian who has written a book with details of all the fataliies and by Margaret Care a great grandaughter of Frederick Stokes (of Stokes Brothers). These last named being the organisers of a very successful day.

A steady stream of people came throughout the afternoon and many found new information on their ancestors. The church was completely full for the service at 5pm. This included hymns which were sung at the original memorial service in 1917. The names of the victims were read out and a list of those killed together with a list of known injured was included with the order of service.

After the service a plaque listing names of the 81 killed in Tontine Street and the surrounding area was be unveiled in The Christchurch Memorial Gardens at 6.22pm. Wreaths and flowers were left by many.


Christchurch Memorial Gardens, Folkestone, Kent are situated on the corner of Sandgate Road (A2033) and Manor Road. Sat Nav: CT20 2DA.

Folkestone Methodist Church is opposite the gardens on Sandgate Road CT20 2BL

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Memorial Service 2017
Last updated November 2016
Web Page by Les Haigh. Email: (les.haigh at

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