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International baseball game in Folkestone coincides with town museum's exhibition

Contributed by editor on Jun 12, 2019 - 12:30 PM

 

By Ray Duff

An exhibition has opened at Folkestone Museum focusing on the role of the Canadian armed forces, based at Shorncliffe barracks, and their baseball teams during The First World War.


The exhibition coincides with a re-creation of a Canada v England baseball match which was played during their stay. It will take place at Three Hills Sports Park in Cheriton Road on Sunday 6 June.

The Canadian forces came to Shorncliffe in 1915 and very soon it was described as a 'suburb of Toronto' with around 40,000 of the 2nd Canada Division stationed at the camp.

They brought their baseball league with them and Folkestone provided the first such in England. The popularity spread across the UK and provided a spectacle for the public and troops after the British government had suspended all professional sports across the country.

Two leagues were held in 1916 and by 1918 games were played nationally organised by the Canadian Military Athletics Association. This culminated in a championship of the British Isles against the top America side of the time. Matches even continued when troops were sent to the Front Line.

The exhibition features a series of many photographs of troops, activities and games of the day, which have been collated by Andrew Taylor and the Folkestone Baseball Chronicle group, assisted by Folkestone Local History Society, alongside some explanatory notes.

The exhibition at Folkestone Museum  Photo: Ray Duff


Together they provide fascinating insight into another little known aspect of WW1, both locally and nationally, and the group intends to continue their research.

The match re-creation next Sunday afternoon at the Cheriton Road Sports ground features the current Canadian Armed Forces in the UK team, playing the UK Buccaneers Baseball Travel Team.

The first pitch will be at 3pm and there is free entry to the public.

Related links

Folkestone Baseball Chronicle: https://www.facebook.com/FolkestoneBeseball/

'FOLKESTONE BASEBALL': The Canadian Military Baseball Leagues from Folkestone to the Western Front 1915-1919

Exhibition: 10 -24 June 2019
Folkestone Museum Mon -Sat 10am -4pm
www.folkestonemuseum.co.uk

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