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The Step Short Arch

By ZenTony
The arch ( see V1) stands on the Leas on the cliffs to the west of Folkestone harbour. On the Folkestone side a steep road leads down to the harbour, which in WW1 was a major port of embarkation for France. This road was called Slope Road at that time and is so steep you have to shorten your stride to walk down safely.
In WW1 the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who assembled on the Leas or marched to the harbour along the Leas from Shorncliffe Military Camp were given the order “STEP SHORT” at the top of the road.
After the War the road was renamed The Road of Remembrance in honour of all who marched down it. The Step Short Arch was erected in 2008.
My faffed version is maybe a refection of the fear that must endured as the young soldiers marched through on their way to being slaughtered as a consequence of the ineptitude of Politicians.
Nothing changes really !
(My grandfather was one of those who would have passed along that route. Fortunately he survived the Somme...............or I wouldn't be here right now!)

Tags: Photo journalism Monochrome The Leas Folkestone The Memorial Arch

Voters: madeinbrooklyn, RonDM, gentry3951 and 42 more

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RonDM Plus
6 211 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2021 6:23AM
Great image

Good write up

20 Jul 2021 6:46AM
Terrific Tony

Have you ever seen/been in the St Louis Arch?

That is some experience

Colin Smile
bliba Plus
15 2 Austria
20 Jul 2021 6:49AM
ColleenA Plus
9 500 7 Australia
20 Jul 2021 7:08AM
Interesting write up….
20 Jul 2021 7:29AM
Great shot .. so dark and so well echoing the mood of all at that time. Great sentiment Tony
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2459 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2021 7:45AM
The emotion, the sense of foreboding are there in the darkness. Superb.
woolybill1 Plus
15 38 78 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2021 7:52AM
A fascinating vignette of local history, Tony; thanks for the information, the kind of material that hasn't reached my collection of WW1 history books yet.
Fittingly faffed, I think, Tony. If anyone finds it a touch OTT, so be it: arches are intended to go over the top.


jacomes Plus
6 28 41 Portugal
20 Jul 2021 8:15AM
Very evocative image, Tony, reminiscent of a WW1 battle field. My own paternal Grandfather (who survived a gas attack) and his brother (killed 1917) both probably passed this way, and a maternal great uncle as well (killed at Ypres). Another great uncle swapped bus driving in London for three years ambulance driving in N.France/Flanders
saltireblue Plus
11 12.2k 76 Norway
20 Jul 2021 8:45AM
I remember my daughter telling me there was a good deal of controversy surrounding the arch. Many felt it an inappropriate symbol, and could represent anything at all.
Are the knitted poppies still decorating the fence at the top of the road?

Your treatment in the lead reflects the darkness of the situation encountered by those who departed from there in WWI...
20 Jul 2021 9:06AM
Nice work Tony and History The ultimate guilty parties were two Royal families the Kaiser and our lot at war with each other...Have a good day..Alan
20 Jul 2021 9:25AM
A very well worked lead image, Tony and good to see it in the real world.

20 Jul 2021 10:06AM
I really like this composition in light of what you've written in the intro. Its so dramatic and powerful...metaphorically the soldiers going through the arch into the other side!! Smile

Quote: ' a consequence of the ineptitude of Politicians. Nothing changes really !'

Yes, indeed! Sad
dales Plus
5 13 Australia
20 Jul 2021 10:29AM
Impressive image with your excellent sympathetic processing Tony
mistere Plus
8 8 4 England
20 Jul 2021 11:04AM
Very happy to be 30th on this excellent work, Tony. Have a gong to go with the RCA as well.
Your faffing probably reflects the feelings of those young men as they Short Stepped their way
to a very uncertain and terrifying future.
20 Jul 2021 12:26PM
great sentiment
my grandfather fought in WWI
he never talked about it
ZenTony Plus
5 8 1 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2021 12:57PM

Quote:great sentiment
my grandfather fought in WWI
he never talked about it

Mine was the same Leo. Never spoke about it
cooky Plus
17 6 5 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2021 7:28PM
Excellent narrative and lovely processed interpretation of that fear they would have felt.

My Grandad was gassed and blown up and apparently left for dead. A New Zealand regiment dug him out and he lived on into his late nineties. He never spoke about what he saw, just his gratitude to the New Zealanders.

Well taken Tony.


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