50th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION
Front Line medal was commemorative. It was issued for the 50th
anniversary of 26th September 1944, when the last shell fell on
Dover in World War II before the enemy guns at Calais were
captured by the Canadians. Those who had carried on their duties
under enemy and shellfire bombing in what was known as "Hellfire
Corner" were eligible to receive it.
The first batch in Dover was presented by Brigadier Vere Hayes
in March 1994, at a ceremony at the Town Hall. One of those who
received a medal on this occasion was Dick Whittamore, who
worked at the Hippodrome Theatre, Snargate Street, during the
war. He became Assistant Manager, but his career was abruptly
halted when the theatre was shelled. .
On 26th September 1994 there was a parade held by
over 1000 veterans
who had served in the Dover area during the war, including
people from the USA, Canadians, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.
Three hundred service people also attended. The
Countess Mountbatten unveiled a memorial on the Sea Front
(right, see also
plaques for more pictures) to all
those who had lost their lives during the war. The Master Gunner
and the Director of the Royal Artillery attended, while the
Royal Artillery band played with a band from the Czechoslovakian
army. Lunches at the Duke of York's Royal Military School
or the Town Hall followed..
There were other commemorative functions, including a service in
the Garrison church of St Mary in Castro, Dover Castle. The
Royal Artillery laid a wreath at the Town Memorial at 19.12, the
exact time the last shell had fallen. A plaque
at the entrance to the secret war-time tunnels was unveiled and
dedicated to the five American Anti-aircraft battalions which
had served against the flying bomb attacks on the coast between
Deal and Dymchurch in 1944.
Events and striking of the medal for Dover were organised by a
committee of the Dover Branch of the Royal Artillery
Association, and medals were sold to eligible people. One
recipient recalls the cost as being some £15. Hundreds applied,
and the proceeds, after the costs of production, were given to
The plaque on the monument reads:
"To commemorate all men and women, both service and civilians,
who lived, served, and died in East Kent. "Front Line Britain";
1939-1945. This plaque was unveiled by Countess Mountbatten of
Burma, CBE, CD, JP, EL 26th September 1994"
Left, Mr Tolputt's medal. Right, the letter and attached medal
that are displayed at the entrance to the war-time tunnels,
Dover Castle. The letter reads:
"Frontline Britain" '94"
50th anniversary of the end of Frontline Britain
The frontline Britain medal was struck to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of the capture of the German cross channel guns and
the end of shelling in this area. At Dover on 26th September
1994 a memorial was unveiled by Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
"To all those men and women of both military and civilian
services, who lived, served, and died in the East Kent district
The Frontline Britain '94 Committee present this medal to
"Hellfire Corner, Dover Castle" with grateful thanks for their
support during this historic event, when veterans from all over
the world returned to remember when East Kent was "Frontline
Information kindly supplied by Arthur Tolputt,
with extra notes from Bob Hollingsbee and John Cork
pictured above, Arthur Tolputt, Hon Secretary Royal Artillery
Association, Dover Branch
The Frontline Medal was struck by