I laid a wreath at the unveiling of a memorial at Walmer Station to commemorate the loss of four African American soldiers of the Transportation Corps, who were killed at the Goods Shed at Walmer station on the 12th September 1945. Their unit had been brought back from Europe in the summer of 1945 and were stationed at Ringwould where they were transporting petrol cans from a US warship, the SS James Harrod, was wrecked off the Deal coast. A cigarette ignited the vapour at the Goods Shed and there was an explosion. Four men were killed instantly, and nine more were badly injured. This was in addition to the four soldiers who had died when the warship was wrecked.
There is a memorial booklet which costs £3 and all proceeds go to the Friends of the Deal Hospital. The event and memorial was organised by Phil Eyden.
This memorial serves as a reminder of how we stood together in World War 2. It is particularly poignant as it is now 20 years since the shocking attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11.
Britain and America are always at our strongest when standing shoulder to shoulder in defence of our shared values of freedom and democracy.
Phil Eyden has done a tremendous job to research and crowdfund for the memorial so that this story can live on.