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The National War Memorial Plan

The forthcoming centenary of the commencement of World War One provides a timely opportunity to readdress and reaffirm the memorialisation of the personal sacrifices made by millions in the defence of the British Isles during the course of the two World Wars.

The Proposed National War Memorial on Dover’s Western Heights will be dedicated to the casualties of the Commonwealth of Nations from 1914 -1945. The goal of the project is to have the Memorial in place for an opening on the 4th August 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. The proposed site for the Memorial is the area
surrounding Drop Redoubt. The Memorial will take the form of 12 white granite walls stepping down the slope between Drop Redoubt and the Grand Shaft. Sited above the White Cliffs, the very front line of World War Two, the fi nal embarkation point for many of those who gave their lives in World War One. The creation of the Memorial will be a single great gesture detailing the names of the 1.7 million individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice in the two World Wars.

Regeneration Issues
As well as being a great national gesture of remembrance the Memorial will have signifi cant tangible benefits to the region and town of Dover. The Memorial will both bring a significant number of new visitors to Dover and will retain for longer those who are already visiting the town, adding new custom to the businesses of the town. The same will apply to Dover Castle, the two sites will act in a complementary manner, each
providing visitors for the other. Inevitably the added visitors will bring added infrastructure requirements. The site could be accessed by a park and ride system, ensuring visitors are drawn to, and through, the town and provided with opportunities to engage with local businesses. The proposed cable car may also benefit in terms of user numbers with a signifi cant visitor attraction on the Western Heights. The nature of the Memorial will bring a ceremony and event focus to the town. Whether an annual memorial event, multiple memorial events through out the year or simply a daily ceremony of remembrance, all will act both to draw visitors to the town but also go some way to
restoring pride and honour to the sites of the Western Heights. The National War Memorial will attract both unique visitors and will extend the stay of existing visitors and those who pass thought the town onto ferries and cruise ships. Those listed on the memorial will have a FAMILY LINK to more than 75% of the UK’s population, making the site personally and specifically relevant to 45 million residents of the British Isles. The
Memorial is dedicated to the Commonwealth, acknowledging the sacrifice and contribution made by all the individuals and families from the 54 Member States.
MILITARY HISTORY has developed as a significant field of interest, the memorial will tap directly into this. This can be augmented with the use of the Redoubt as a visitors centre and museum drawing new visitors and intercepting the growing traffi c in battlefi eld tours
which pass through Dover.

SCHOOL VISITS within the region would specifi cally visit the memorial probably combining this visit with a visit to Dover Castle. The site would inevitably be animated by CEREMONIAL EVENTS through the course of the year.

In addition to these factors memorials themselves have become a destination in their own right. The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC draws 3 million tourists a year, and the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire drew 200 000 visitors in its fi rst 6
months of opening in 2007.

Local Visitor Number Precedents
Dover Castle 300 000 (49 000 school visits)
White Cliffs Visitor Centre 250 000
Samphire Hoe 110 000
Dover Museum 40 000
Canterbury Cathedral 1 091 000
Leeds Castle 413 000
Cruise Passenger (2006) 250 000

Given the wide spectrum of potential visitors, opportunities to
animate the site with multiple annual events and the numbers
reported by similar sites it is likely that the National War Memorial
will draw something between 250,000 and 500,000 visitors per year.