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.

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.

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

RAF Manston History Museum
Charting the history of the airfield from 1916 when it first started being used as an airport. 

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. 2018 Tours - Wednesday 2 May 10am, Wednesday 6 June 7pm, Wednesday 4 July 2pm, Saturday 4 August 10am, Wednesday 5 Septemebr 10am and Saturday 10 November 9.45am

  • Margate Cemetery Tours - These tours include some listed graves and an overview of the cemetery, plus some graves showing the historic links between Margate and those who died in enemy action during the Great War. 2018 Tours Wednesday 16 May, Wednesday 20 June, Wednesday 18 July at 7pm and Saturday 18 August at 2pm 

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