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Laura Probert - Local Historian

Home / Our Community / People of Ramsgate / Laura Probert - Local Historian
How long have you lived in Ramsgate?
I have always had links with the town as my Father spent his childhood here, but I bought my house here in September 2003.

Why did you start helping the local community?
If you move somewhere I think it is important to join in local events to get to know local people and put something back into the community where you have chosen to live.

I was a committee member of the Ramsgate Society for several years, also CAAG and the Thanet Senior Citizens Forum. I have also served on various health related groups and am a member of my surgery’s PPG. I was one of the team who set up the Great Wall of Ramsgate, our open-air art gallery along the seafront. I am a member of the King’s church in the old King’s Cinema behind the Red Lion.

What are your earliest memories of Ramsgate?
I stayed in a B&B in Albion Place for three days one Easter holiday when I was about nine years old, Dad wanted us to see where he grew up.

What are your ambitions?
My ambition is to travel on every steam railway in the British Isles. I also want to travel on the Nilgiri Hill mountain railway in southern India.

What are you currently working on or towards in Ramsgate?
I am re-creating the Ramsgate Roll of Honour from WWI which was lost during WWII.

Related to this I have also started tours of the WWI graves in Ramsgate Cemetery and have started a website about Ramsgate in WWI – www.ramsgateremembers14-18.co.uk

Why did you start this current project?
I am a member of the East Kent branch of the Western Front Association and was their newsletter editor for three years. I promised my father before he died that I would continue to remember my grandfather, who died on the Western Front in October 1918, and this is my way of doing it.

Where did you get the idea from to start this?
I noticed that Ramsgate’s war memorial in St George’s churchyard does not have any names on it.

What can Ramsgate look forward to from you in the future?
Once I have finished my WWI project I hope to write a third book about local history to add to those I have already published on local suffragettes and women in WWI. My next book will hopefully be about the Temperance movement in Thanet.

How do you feel your contribution has helped or made a difference to Ramsgate?
I hope that my research will be useful to future generations of family historians and researchers.

Where do you see yourself helping the community in a year’s time?
I plan to show the film Battle of the Somme in the King’s Theatre in August 2016, a hundred years since the battle.

Interview by Dean Williams, Technical Officer
Interview Date: 28th April 2015