4th Aug 1914 · 7th Jan 1915 Podcast Storyline

Frontline Folkestone

345 min Play story

Keeping the peace at home as soldiers depart and return

  1. 4th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. War is imminent

      Kitty voices concerns for Germans resident in Folkestone and the rest of the UK if war breaks out, but her worries have a deeper cause

  2. 5th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Soldiers let off steam

      Councillor Gabriel fears shortages and boisterous soldiers will interfere with Folkestone's tourist business

    2. Lunch at the Grand

      Gabriel, his aristocratic wife and their soldier son Freddie discuss the coming crisis - and suspect Dieter's nationality - over a lavish lunch

  3. 15th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. A sister's promise

      Freddie makes Isabel promise not to blame herself for the missing boys, and in return makes his mother hire Esme Macknade

  4. 18th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. Frontline Folkestone

      Archie voices concerns of local businesses that wartime measures are ruining the tourist trade

    2. Council faces crisis

      Gabriel fails to reassure a combative London journalist that the council can cope with local problems, Belgian refugees and a threatened German attack

    3. Inspiration strikes Hilary

      Beset by Bill Macknade and Archie's complaints of empty guesthouses, Hilary senses a way of turning bad news to good

    4. Hilary takes charge of the news

      Hilary persuades Parsons to write about the town's search for the lost boys rather than an "unpatriotic" attack on the council


    5. A modest proposal

      Hilary, proving an increasingly smooth operator, realises the town's problem with refugees and empty guesthouses can cancel each other out

  5. 19th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Victor is restless

      Left behind by his colleagues, the injured Victor tells his subordinate, horse doctor and would-be procurer about Kitty

    2. Aunt Sylvia has a plan

      Victor is bullied by his aunt on matters of Belgian refugees and of romance

    3. What's hiding in the cellar?

      Mr Martindale informs Victor and the soldiers about Hans, the German hiding in the hotel cellar.

  6. 27th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 7

    1. News from the front

      Gabriel reads news from the front, and ponders his committee speech: Esme is now working for the Grahams

    2. A VIP visit

      Hilary tells Gabriel and Sylvia of an informal visit by Asquith, and reports that the first wounded have arrived back in Folkestone

    3. The wounded return

      The first wounded soldiers to return seem in good spirits, but Gabriel is troubled by the paucity of news from the front

    4. Gabriel gives his speech

      Gabriel takes his wife's advice on emphasising local comradeship in his speech


    5. A triumph

      Full of his own success, Gabriel decides to walk home along the front

    6. No law against poetry

      The two men share their love of verse while listening to the waves break - and the distant sound of guns from France

    7. The maimed officer

      Gabriel talks to an officer who has lost a leg: the more severely wounded arrive after dark: Hilary walks him home

  7. 28th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Dorothea's second idea

      The two pragmatists, Dorothea and Hilary, come up with more measures to ease the refugees' anguish

  8. 29th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 8

    1. The day of the cake sale

      Albert grumbles about being volunteered for fundraising duty by Florrie: Adam tries to cadge cake

    2. The Cake Sale begins

      Sylvia is in her element presiding over the cake sale; Kitty's pregnancy is starting to show

    3. A false accusation

      Sylvia accuses Jessie of stealing cakes, and even though she is in the wrong, Jessie is compelled to apologise

    4. The green-eyed monster

      Ivy chats to Albert about the performing arts and invites the Wilsons to the theatre, but Florrie is having none of it

    5. Shaming the unenlisted

      Sylvia enlists Florrie in showing able-bodied men who haven't signed up her disapproval

    6. Adam's upset

      Adam insists that Albert informs the police about his suspicions of the German consul

    7. Albert examines the shoe

      Albert does not recognise the shoe, and tells Forrester of his feelings about his lost son.

    8. Good news from abroad

      Ivy sings at the Cake Sale, and Gabriel announces a naval victory: Florrie and Albert kiss and make up

  9. 1st September 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Albert and Florrie disagree

      Albert urges Florrie not to shame men into joining, up, reminding her that their Jack is an adult in the army's eyes

    2. The White Feather Society is formed

      Florrie and her friend Hilda are dragooned into shaming men into enlisting by the formidable Sylvia

    3. An embarrassing encounter

      Florrie gives Hilary a white feather, but he points out he is engaged in the war effort with the council

  10. 2nd September 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Ralph and Hilary confer

      Ralph and Hilary discuss the White Feather Club, restarting the cub scouts, and other issues

    2. Between two women

      As Dorothea's work with the refugees expands to include a newspaper, she pushes Ralph towards Isabel

  11. 4th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 7

    1. Police on Patrol

      The two policemen discuss wartime tensions and crime until their quiet patrol is interrupted by Jessie

    2. The dogfight

      Adam is walking a dachshund, a German dog, which is another excuse for the Macknades to attack

    3. Foolish prejudice

      The policeman tells Adam he can't escape stupid people, and he can't go to the harbour to watch the wounded either

    4. No peace for the peacekeepers

      Norman and Monk are called to the harbour on another emergency

    5. A Wilde connection

      Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas returns to Folkestone and demands to be arrested - before he goes to the Savoy

    6. "Green carnation boys"

      The policemen's response to Bosie range from discomfort to disgust to a fear his homosexuality might be 'catching'

    7. A grandstanding speech

      Bosie exonerates himself, although the police remain indifferent; Forrester reveals the boys found in London were not Sam and Jimmy

  12. 5th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Matters of love and death

      Gabriel is distracted from the thought of distressed families by Sylvia's matchmaking plans for Victor

    2. Fighting over Isabel

      In a heated conversation with Dorothea, Sylvia discovers the identity of Victor's beloved Kitty

    3. "What's become of the world..."

      The changes to society wrought by war are felt even by the implacable Sylvia

  13. 8th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Shocking News

      The Grahams' worries about Isabel are overtaken by a telegram reporting Freddie's death

    2. A house divided

      Prostrated by sorrow, councillor Graham is unable to respond to his wife's wishes

    3. An encounter with a soldier

      Her emotions in disarray, Isabel kisses a soldier who thinks she is a prostitute: the revelation brings Freddie's death home to her


  14. 9th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. Hilary intrudes on Gabriel's solitude

      The ever-suave Hilary presents himself as Gabriel's right hand, and warns Isabel she was seen kissing the soldier

    2. Gabriel presides in court

      Those before Gabriel in the magistrate's court include the last man to see the lost boys alive, and Sgt Harris's own son

    3. To the Regatta

      Gabriel overtakes Mervyn and Norman on his way to immerse himself further in his "civic duties"

    4. Gabriel capsized

      Mervyn redeems himself by saving his brother from the water after two boats overturn

  15. 10th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Buns or Germs?

      Jessie has noticed Kitty's thickening middle

  16. 15th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 6

    1. A memorial service on the Leas

      Gabriel breaks down, Sylvia steps up, and the Wilsons miss Dieter and Sam

    2. Sylvia inflamed again

      Outraged by Jack's lack of decorum, it looks like Sylvia is incubating a new patriotic scheme

    3. Confrontation on the pier

      Presented with a white feather, Joe decides to enlist to get away from his family: a reluctant Jack agrees

    4. Signing up for war

      Both lads offer themselves in service to their country, but it becomes clear Joe lacks schooling

    5. In the army now - or not

      While Jack has been accepted by the army, Joe has been turned down because of his bad teeth

    6. Adam shouts at Sylvia

      In the cinema queue, Adam accuses Sylvia of wanting other young men to die just because her son has been killed

  17. 16th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Family condolences

      Victor disagrees with Sylvia over Kitty, and is shocked when Gabriel mistakes him for Freddie

  18. 17th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 8

    1. Gabriel goes to pieces

      Wracked by grief, Gabriel forgets things, mislays papers, even fails to recognise his own daughter

    2. A stir in the council meeting

      Rather than deal with council business, Gabriel begins reciting poetry: Hilary tries to manage the situation

    3. A new recruit for the young sleuths

      From deep despondency, Gabriel is fired by the chance of an adventure involving a missing refugee

    4. A couple reunited

      The upswing of Gabriel's mood continues as they take Ottoline to meet her husband

    5. A couple reunited, part 2

      Adam and Jessie are embarrassed by displays of adult affection: Gabriel continues to behave erratically

    6. Gabriel in bad company

      Isabel tries to extract Gabriel from the pub as he is on the point of pawning his cufflinks

    7. Gabriel gets blotto

      Gabriel finds himself in sympathy with the maudlin Bill and rebuffs Hilary's attempts to help

    8. Esme to the rescue

      Esme's loyalty is to Gabriel now rather than her father: Gabriel realises he is losing his sanity

  19. 24th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. The Graham women confront Gabriel

      Gabriel is foolishly buoyed up by newspaper reports of soldiers presumed dead but found alive, hoping this might be true of Freddie

    2. An official dinner with the Belgians

      Hilary and Dorothea are concerned by Gabriel's absence, and Isabel is again peeved by her mother's high-handedness

    3. Sylvia's speech interrupted

      Sylvia apparently reacts with embarrassment rather than concern at her husband's eccentric interruption

    4. Sylvia is stricken

      It's true - Sylvia is "mortified" rather than concerned by her husband's erratic behaviour

    5. Gabriel and the refugees

      Gabriel accepts Freddie's death, realising certainty is better than not knowing the fate of loved ones, like the Belgian couple

  20. 25th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. The town gathers to hear Mrs Pankhurst

      Dorothea is impressed by Mrs Pankhurst, but Sylvia is spoiling for a fight

    2. The argument continues

      Ralph's attitude to suffrage hints at the deeper problems in his marriage: Sylvia remains imperious and implacable

  21. 29th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. Gabriel crumbles

      Gabriel continues to behave erratically - sometimes upbeat, but now sounding heartily sick of the war

    2. An impulsive purchase

      Unaccustomed to shopping, Gabriel purchases "the soldier's cigarette", Woodbines, for his first smoke.


    3. Partners in loss

      Knowing what it is to lose a son, Florrie offers the distraught Gabriel a helping hand to get home

    4. Gabriel offers hospitality

      There is much cross-class embarrassment as Gabriel introduces Florrie to Isabel and Esme

    5. Strife over dinner

      Sylvia reveals her hidden pain, her disappointment with Gabriel and her preference for Freddie over Isabel.

  22. 1st October 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Women at odds

      Dorothea and Isabel show they have more in common than Ralph when faced with Sylvia's incurable, old-fashioned attitudes

    2. Sylvia spring cleans

      Once again we see Sylvia's lack of tact and the way she and Isabel manifest grief very differently

    3. The family that plays together...

      Remembering Freddie brings the remaining Grahams together and levels their conflicting emotions

  23. 3rd October 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Victor leaves for the front

      Adam is confused by Kitty's distress at Victor's departure: he offers her his last aniseed ball

  24. 1st December 1914

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. Sober preparations

      Sylvia, Gabriel and Isabel gather scattered cufflinks and wits to prepare for Freddie's funeral

    2. Juliet returns

      Returning daughter Juliet Graham represents the modern, independent woman: Freddie's funeral cortege is diverted to avoid damaging morale

    3. A funeral

      Dorothea appears, insisting she has a right to attend Freddie's funeral.

    4. Freddie laid to rest

      Only when the rest of the family has left Freddie's grave can Silvia speak freely to her dead son of her love for him

  25. 8th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. The soldiers arrive

      The vicarage's new soldier inhabitants are an Indian private with impeccable English and a flirtatious Welshman

    2. Monk's bicycle returned

      We learn that Monk was prevented from signing up, and that the con man soldier was freed on Ivor's orders

    3. More upset in the vicarage

      Ralph seems jealous of Dorothea speaking Hindi to Ramesh: their third soldier-guest is the conman, George

    4. The lantern lecture

      Dorothea brings the soldiers to the lecture - Ralph doesn't want to leave her alone with them - where they meet Isabel and Jessie

  26. 9th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Preparations in the theatre

      We learn a bit more about Ivy - her relationship with Archie, her mixture of softness and toughness, her debt to Dolly Clout. Jessie's looks set to be a child star

    2. The variety show

      Young Jessie makes her stage debut in uniform as the "miniature Vesta Tilly". Monk flirts with Ivy

  27. 10th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. A difference of opinion

      A friend's desire to get her son enlisted reveals Sylvia's new ambivalence about war: she tells Victor to bring Kitty to her house; Toby flirts with Esme:

  28. 12th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. It's all go at the police station

      Policemen Monk and Norman are beset by a number of callers making strange requests or accusations

  29. 15th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 6

    1. A visitor for Hilary

      Hilary is distracted from his council work by the agitated Laurie arriving unexpectedly at the town hall

    2. An allegation of Treason

      Laurie reiterates the claim he made to the police, that his manager at the post office is a spy: we learn Hilary may be less suave than he seems

    3. Mr Hawkes explains

      Hawkes explains the government has licensed postmasters to open foreign and random mail: he probes Hilary's relationship to Laurie

    4. A meal of cockles

      In conversation with Hilary, Laurie exhibits traits that today might be diagnosed as autism

    5. Hilary's secret

      Laurie reveals he is Hilary's brother, and Hilary asks Isabel not to mention this to her father, making a veiled threat

    6. Inside Laurie's bedroom

      Hilary has concealed the existence of his brother - a savant cricket-obsessive - and his lowly origins in order to get on in life

  30. 16th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. Uproar at the Vicarage

      George smashes Dorothea's statue of Kali and proves a boorish presence, heightening tensions: Ralph has become stand-in chaplain at the Manor House hospital

    2. Ralph visits the hospital

      A nurse prepares Ralph for his first face-to-face encounter with amputees and men with frostbite


    3. The weeping soldier

      Ralph, attempting conversation with a soldier wracked with sobs, finds Isabel visiting the hospital

    4. Two casualties

      Ralph talks to the comatose Hardinge and is accosted by Douglas, who lost both legs to a Howitzer but endures, thanks to a female ambulance driver

    5. Ralph lays down the law

      Chastened by his experiences at the hospital, Ralph throws George out of the house when he molests Marieke

  31. 17th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Rallying the public

      The Germans have shelled British coastal towns: Archie uses this to play on the consciences of the unenlisted - and line his pockets

    2. Jessie's deception exposed

      Archie and Hilary clash over who is profiting from the conflict and Hilda Moore sees Jessie singing in the street and is appalled

  32. 18th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 6

    1. The Harris boys at sea

      Out at sea, looking out for fish and mines, Mervyn reveals that Maisie is hectoring him to enlist

    2. The Admiral goes recruiting

      There is huge pressure on all able men to sign up, even if engaged in essential activities like fishing

    3. Mervyn and Maisie's date

      Women feel the need to urge their men to join up, too

    4. Mervyn's announcement

      Mervyn's fisherman brothers are superstitiously appalled that he has broken up their team and joined up needlessly

    5. Maisie's tears

      Faced with the prospect of Mervyn going to war at sea, Maisie admits that she loves him

    6. The recruiting drive

      Mervyn's brothers surprise him by signing up alongside him: he surprises Maisie by proposing, and she accepts.

  33. 22nd December 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Aunt Phyllis comes for Christmas

      Phyllis is clearly unnerved both by Victor's domestic arrangements and Isabel's driving

    2. Danger in the air

      The threat of air raids starts to oppress the townsfolk

    3. The Graham/Marshall women converge

      The younger women are dying to hear how Phyllis's meeting with Kitty went but she evades their questions

  34. 23rd December 1914

    Scene 1 of 7

    1. Good news by telegram

      Joy at Cressida's baby is tempered - for the older Graham./Marshall generation at least - by news that it is "another" girl

    2. A fraught journey

      Phyllis can't seem to help putting her foot in it as Sylvia reveals her dread at a Christmas without Freddie

    3. Preparations for tea

      Even at a tea for refugees, Miranda seeks a bit of influential help with getting her boy a commission

    4. The Marshall women at loggerheads

      Beside Phyllis and her high-handed attitude to family and class, Sylvia looks positively soft and timid

    5. A shock for Sylvia

      The revelation that Freddie would have been safer as a private soldier shakes Sylvia to her core

    6. Headstrong youth

      Humphrey, ashamed to be among wounded men, wants to enlist as a private: his mother is appalled, though Sylvia advises her to reconsider

    7. Albert gatecrashes the party

      Albert reveals that after Phyllis's proposal Kitty has disappeared: Forrester initiates a blackout after seaplanes approach

  35. 26th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Boxing Day at the Grahams'

      Victor's friend Toby has sent a telegram

    2. Phyllis's comeuppance

      Although everyone is appalled by Phyllis's behaviour, Sylvia demands a show of family unity: we learn Juliet's husband is in air reconnaissance

    3. Toby's telegram is read

      Esme's reaction to Toby's telegram suggests there may have been more to their encounter than mere friendliness

  36. 29th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. The aftermath of a storm

      Joe and Forrester's chat represents an unlikely rapprochement between the Macknades and the forces of order

    2. A cricketer recruiting

      All sorts and classes - Joe, Humphrey, Laurie - sign up, gaining the cricketer's autograph in the process

    3. A revelation amid recruitment

      As the men explain the compulsion to join up, Mickey reveals a boy's body has been found in a pit

  37. 30th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Crumpets and concern

      Even at their most sensitive to loss and horror, the Grahams can be insensitive to others - particularly the fact that the body has been identified as Esme's brother Jimmy

    2. Not so nosy Nancy

      Mrs Parker guesses Esme may be pregnant but Esme denies it

    3. A surprising departure

      Gabriel's clumsy attempts at tact provoke an outburst and a walkout from Esme

  38. 1st January 1915

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. A new year for the Grahams

      Society is changing - parents and children breakfasting together, black players in football teams, women like Isabel driving ambulances

    2. An argument about Victor

      We learn more about the rivalry between the two Marshall sisters

    3. A change of heart

      Gabriel and Sylvia's emotions continue to seesaw in the aftermath of Freddie's death

  39. 2nd January 1915

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Joe finally joins up

      For their various reasons, Joe, Laurie and Monk all sign up with Ivor - Joe in particular is exuberant as it makes him "feel like a man"

    2. Police vs armed forces

      A conundrum - good men are needed both at home and on the front line

    3. Hilary explains Laurie's situation

      Ivor explains the situation - the hungry maw of war consumes all nominally able men, regardless of position, impairment or difference

  40. 5th January 1915

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Soldiers with frostbite arrive

      Soldiers suffering frostbite, many of them attacked on Christmas Day, now face Isabel's ambulance driving

    2. The ambulance stalls

      A line is crossed - Isabel tells her mother to "shut up" when she criticises her driving

    3. Isabel charms a frostbitten soldier

      Isabel and Frank speak openly about love and death

  41. 6th January 1915

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. A welcome return

      Jack relates to Florrie his experiences as a soldier in training, including civilian hostility

    2. The Wilsons encounter Phyllis again

      Amid a Wilson reunion, Phyllis explains that she would like to pay for Kitty's baby - if it is a boy - to attend Wellington College

  42. 7th January 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Champagne and truth

      Archie reveals his feelings for Ivy, tells her he cannot join the army because of a fragile heart, and suggests taking Jessie on a recruitment tour - Ivy is unsure

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