Council's pride at Step Short arch transfer

Folkestone & Hythe District Council is proud to now be responsible for an iconic monument honouring the sacrifices made during the First World War.

Step Short arch

The Step Short commemoration memorial arch - which stands proudly at the top of the Road of Remembrance in Folkestone - pays tribute to the soldiers who marched through the town on the way to the battlefields between 1914 and 1918.

It has also attracted tourists from across the globe since Prince Harry formally unveiled the structure at a special ceremony in August 2014.

Trustees of the Step Short charity which successfully led the project are in the process of disbanding the organisation and have recently transferred the ownership of the arch to F&HDC.

Cllr David Wimble, F&HDC Cabinet Member for the District Economy, said: "It is a proud moment for the council to be taking over the responsibility of the memorial arch as we have supported the scheme from the very beginning.

"Over a short period of time it has quickly become highly synonymous with the district's proud military history. The £6,000 annual budget allocated for its upkeep is a small price to pay to honour those who made such incredible sacrifices."

A formal handover event will take place at the site later this year when circumstances allow.

The announcement comes on the same week a small, socially-distanced Armed Forces Day flag-raising ceremony was held at the Civic Centre.

It was led by F&HDC chairman Cllr Ann Berry and Father Stephen Bould from The Parish of Our Lady & St Joseph.

Cllr Berry, who was also the former Step Short charity vice-chair, added: "The raising of the Armed Forces Day flag is an important date in the council's calendar.

"We continue to pay tribute to those who have served for the freedoms we enjoy today, and the transfer of the Step Short arch will ensure their stories are told for generations to come."

Date published: 26 June 2020

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