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Canada Day 2019: 100 Years of Giving Thanks

Doug Wade and Tim Prater

Mayor of Hythe Doug Wade with the Vice-Chairman of Sandgate Parish Council

Always an honour to attend the Canada Day parade to Shorncliffe Cemetery and watch the children place flowers on the graves. This year, on the 100th anniversary of the start of the event, it felt even more special to lay the wreath on behalf of Sandgate Parish Council.

The Mayor of Folkestone led the procession, which also included the Mayor of Hythe Doug Wade, myself as Vice Chairman of Sandgate and Ann Berry the chairman of Folkestone and Hythe District Council, alongside many others including Military "top brass", Cadets, Councillors, and representatives from Canada.

The Canada Day Service was first held in 1919 and commemorates the 296 Canadian soldiers who died during WWI and are buried in the Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. It is marked each year by a service and the attendance of local school children laying their own floral tributes on the graves of soldiers.

Shorncliffe Military Cemetery contains 471 First World War burials, more than 300 of them Canadian. Second World War burials number 81, including 1 unidentified U.K. soldier and 1 Polish Foreign National. The cemetery also contains a screen wall on which are commemorated 18 Belgians originally buried in a mausoleum, now demolished.