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Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.
Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.

Seafront Memorials

A stroll along Dover's seafront will reveal more than a handful of statues and memorials. On this page we take a closer look at them


Captain Matthew Webb was born on 19 January 1848. On 25 August 1875 he became the first recorded person to swim the English Channel. He swam from Dover to Calais in a little less than 22 hours. He had previously attempted the feat and despite strong tides and jellyfish stings, on this occasion he succeeded. This, perhaps, was his crowning achievement, during later life he tried evermore challenging projects but became less prominent in public life. He died on 24 July 1883 during his attempt to swim across the dangerous currents of the Niagara River below the famous Niagara Falls. His bust, plinth and plaque is situated in front of the Gateway Flats, normally with a Herring Gull perched on his head!



This poignant memorial to commemorate sailors killed on merchant ships in World War II has a prominent position on Dover's seafront facing the port's western entrance.

The 3m (9.8ft) high sculpture was opened in Marine Parade by Winston Spencer Churchill, the grandson of Britain's wartime leader. About 34,000 merchant seamen were killed or reported missing at sea during the conflict.

Donald Hunter, the founder of the Dover and District Merchant Navy Memorial, raised £46,000 for the sculpture which depicts a merchant seaman.

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