War Memorial to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry)


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone CT19 5JX


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone CT19 5JX
Folkestone and Hythe (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial. Dedicated in February 1921. Relocated, probably in the late-C20. The designer is not currently known.

Reasons for Designation

The war memorial to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry), Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone, dedicated in 1921 and moved to its current location in the late C20, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the fallen from this particular unit and, more generally, the important role that the machine gun played in the First World War and its subsequent prominence in the popular memory of the conflict.

Architectural interest:

* as a well-executed example of one of the common forms of First World War memorial.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

The Machine Gun Corps (MGC) was formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front. The cavalry branch consisted of 26 Machine Gun Squadrons, one per cavalry brigade with the squadrons constituted in February 1916. A depot for the MGC (Cavalry) was formed at Maresfield, East Sussex.

The memorial to the MGC (Cavalry) at Folkestone was originally located at the junction of Cherry Garden Avenue and Cheriton Road and was unveiled on 19 February 1921 by Major-General Sir F H Sykes. A souvenir programme was produced for the unveiling which listed the names, rank and unit of the 497 dead. The memorial was moved to its present location at some point after 1970.


First World War memorial. Dedicated in February 1921. Relocated, probably in the late C20. The designer is not currently known.

MATERIALS: Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is located just inside the main gates of Cheriton Road Cemetery. It takes the form of a cenotaph with a shroud draped on top. Below the shroud on the front face of the memorial is the Machine Gun Corps crest in bronze. Below this the dedication reads: TO/ THE GLORY OF GOD/ & IN MEMORY OF/ THE/ 39 OFFICERS AND 458/ WARRANT OFFICERS, NON/ COMMISSIONED OFFICERS &/ MEN OF THE/ MACHINE GUN CORPS/ (CAVALRY)/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919/ ‘THE SUPREME SACRIFICE’.


Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register - 16086 - Machine Gun Corps - WWI, accessed 20 February 2020 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/16086
Roll of Honour - Kent - Folkstone, Machine Gun Corps (MGC - Cavalry) War Memorial, accessed 20 February 2020 from http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Kent/FolkestoneMGC.html
The Long, Long, Trail - Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) Squadrons, accessed 20 February 2020 from https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/machine-gun-corps-in-the-first-world-war/machine-gun-corps-cavalry-squadrons/
The Machine Gun Corps, WWI , accessed 20 February 2020 from http://www.stepshort.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/MCG-Memorial.pdf
War Memorials Online - 107828 - Folkestone (Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) Cenotaph), accessed 20 February 2020 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/107828


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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