Friends of old Folkestone cemetery
© FOFC - All Rights Reserved. Site created by Jan Holben. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain accuracy, no responsibility is accepted for any errors in content.
Made with Xara
25th May 1917 - 25th May 2017
100th Anniversary of the Folkestone Air Raid
There have been a few accounts of the Folkestone Air Raid (also known as the Tontine Street
Bombing or the Gotha Bombing) which happened on 25th May 1917 - so I will not attempt to write
about it again.
Except to say that this bombing raid saw the death of almost 100 people - including many
children. The bomb that hit Tontine Street was the tail end of an air raid which came across from
Ashford over Hythe and Shorncliffe - but it dropped just one bomb in Tontine street and killed
around 60 people who were doing their shopping in there - many were queuing outside the green
grocers waiting to be served.
It is thought that the bombers were attempting to lighten their load by offloading bombs before
returning to Germany, as they were low on fuel and may not have had enough to complete the
flight - and so one bomber dropped his last bomb most likely aiming for the harbour station.
To avoid panic many newspapers across the county and nationally didn’t report it or downplayed it
because most of the bombing activity at this time took place over London and this significant
number of deaths outside London was unheard of.
Here are various accounts of this terrible event as written by local people and historians:
The Tontine Street Air Raid - and Details of Memorial Service
Pictures of the 100th Anniversary of the Folkestone Air Raid
Folkestone forgotten tragedy (Step Short website
The great Folkestone Air Raid
The Bombing of Tontine Street
A detailed account of the Gotha bombing
An account published in The Times (25/05/2017)
YouTube vid of Michael George talking about the Bombing Raid
A full account can be found in book entitled
‘A Glint In The Sky’
(ISBN 1-84415-119-0) by author
The ‘Friends’ are a volunteer group
formed to protect, preserve and
promote interest in this lovely
old Victorian cemetery.
Graves being dug in Cheriton Road cemetery
Stokes Bros, the aftermath