WWI Itinerary

Discover Thanet's Connections to the Great War

If you have a day to spare and would like to discover more about Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate's connections to the Great War, see below for suggestions of places to visit, things to do and related events.

Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex House and Gardens
In October 1914 the sudden arrival of a telegram, notifying Birchington that 100 wounded soldiers in need of emergency hospital accommodation were being sent by train to the village and asking that they be found hospital accommodation locally, marked the start of the work of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) hospital at Quex. These first patients were unexpectedly Belgian soldiers.
Quex was one of 80 VAD hospitals in Kent and remained open until January 1919, treating hundreds of patients of many nationalities.

To mark the centenary of their coming and tell the story of the dramatic happenings of that time and Quex as a VAD hospital, there are two new exhibitions:

Margate Museum
Margate Museum has an exhibition  dedicated to the East Kent Yeomanry, or 'The Buffs' as they are more readily known, which timelines their history from 1572 to 1992 when they became ‘The Queens. This exhibition includes a Great War cabinet with a picture of the downed zeppelin which caused so much bomb damage to Margate, plus you can see the Borough Memorial Boards to the servicemen who perished and the memorial plaque from Margate College.

From 2 August 2014 through to 2018 the '1914-1918 Great War Exhibition' will open and this tells the story of the people of Margate during that terrible time and pays tribute to over 400 men plus civilians of Margate who perished as a result of war related actions or accidents

Smack Boys Sailor Church and Harbour Mission

The Sailor’s Church and Harbour Mission, close by the foot of Jacob’s Ladder, was built in 1878 by Canon Eustace Brenan, vicar of the nearby Christ Church. He saw the need for spiritual guidance and physical help for the men and boys who made up the crews of the sailing smacks who fished out of Ramsgate in the nineteenth century. It was dangerous, arduous work, especially for the young apprentices who were called ‘Smack Boys’. When the apprentices were ashore, they were provided with some comfort in the rooms above the church and later, in the Smack Boys Home next door.The use of the home slowly changed to receiving sailors that had been rescued, mostly from wrecks on the Goodwin Sands. Later some 3,300 survivors of the First World War are known to have been fed, clothed, sheltered and medically treated here

Things To Do

  • St Peter's WWI War Graves Tour - Visit the graves and remember those who died during or as a result of the 1914-18 World War

  • Margate Cemetery Tours - These tours include some listed graves and an overview of the cemetery, plus some graves showing the historic links betweeen Margate and those who died in enemy action during the Great War

  • Margate Cemetery Maritime Tours - These tours are specifically about the lives of those people interred in the cemetery who have had links with the sea. Being a coastal town and a base for a lifeboat this tour focuses on those who have had involvement with the sea. As with the general tours there will be visits to graves which have links with WWI


  • St Peter's WWI Graves Tours (2015)  - Wednesday 6 May 10am, Wednesday 3 June 7pm, Wednesday 1 July 2pm, Saturday 8 August 10am, Wednesday 2 Septemebr 10am and Wednesday 11 November 9.45am

Did you know?
Discover more interesting facts about Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and villages by clicking here