78. Ann Berry
Folkestone played a significant role in the First World War as the main port of embarkation for more than 10 million soldiers to and from the Western Front. Ann helped to found Step Short six years ago because she felt that local people should have the opportunity to learn about how Folkestone contributed towards defining moments that shaped a whole generation. Ann is actively involved in every aspect of the organisation and has volunteered thousands of hours on projects including helping to organise volunteers to transcribe eight historic visitor’s books containing 43,500 names signed by troops leaving and entering Folkestone harbour, and fundraising for the new Step Short Commemorative Arch in Folkestone, which was opened formally by Prince Harry today.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Jean’s dedication to the Step Short project has enabled Folkestone to commemorate all those who served in the First World War. During this centenary year, I applaud Jean and the Step Short team for providing a fitting tribute to the millions of people who passed through Folkestone to serve their country. I am delighted to award Jean a Point of Light.”
“Folkestone played such a huge role during the First World War yet most of those who remembered that time have gone now. Step Short is helping to bring our story to the wider community and especially children of local schools and visitors through participation, education, research and ancestry.”
Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe and Chairman of the Step Short Project
“Ann Berry is an inspiration. It has been a pleasure to work alongside her on the Step Short project over the last six years. She has worked tirelessly to support the project giving thousands of hours of her time to help raise funds, organise events and promote awareness of the significance of the First World War centenary in Folkestone. This award is a well-deserved recognition of everything she has done over many years to support Folkestone and her community.”