ABOUT 1,200 Chester people who died in the First World War will be remembered in a special tribute at Chester Castle next month.

Their names will be projected on to the medieval walls of the castle – a Cheshire Regiment base at the time – every night over the weekend of the November 9-11 to mark the centenary of the Armistice.

This is an informal event organised by the Chester Civic Trust and City of Chester MP Chris Matheson.

The event has been made possible by the generous support of local businesses and organisations, who have donated time, equipment, facilities and expertise as a mark of respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Organisers hope people will take the time to attend the event, pay their respects to the people named on the Roll of Honour, and visit the First World War exhibition in the nearby Military Museum.

Niall Macfadyen, of Chester Civic Trust's heritage subcommittee, said: "Chris Matheson approached the Civic Trust with a proposal that the city should mark this important event in our history and it was suggested to him that projecting the names of the fallen on to Chester Castle would be an appropriate tribute.

"Chris was supportive of the idea and negotiated projection rights with English Heritage (who own the castle) at a meeting. That gave us the green light to get cracking with delivering the project and we have been overwhelmed by the number of people and organisations that have come forward to offer support at such short notice."

Mr Matheson said: "When the Civic Trust told me they wanted to do something for the Armistice, I was keen to move it forward with them.

"I am passionate about the castle and about bringing it back into use at every opportunity – and of course I am always keen to work with Dr Macfadyen on his projects in the city.

"The best thing about this project is that it has involved many people who have come together to make it happen – including council staff, local councillors, local freelance designers, Big Heritage, local museums, charities and businesses – and of course the Civic Trust.

"It goes to show that when funding for this sort of thing has been cut to the bone, when we come together we can still do great things.

"The next piece in this jigsaw is local residents, who we need to help us with the set up and stewarding of the event over the three nights – if you are interested in finding out more, please email armistice@macfadyen.net."

People are invited to watch a 30-minute video projected on to the walls as the list of names unfolds. It will feature images of Chester men in the trenches and other relevant scenes.

The video will be projected from 5-7pm on Friday, November 9.

It will also be projected from 6-8pm on Saturday, November 10, during which time the military museum will open especially for the evening, so people can visit the First World War exhibition. Hot drinks will be available for purchase, with profits going to SHARE, the Chester homeless charity.

On Sunday, November 11, the video will be projected from 6-9pm.

At 8.30pm, after the last showing, some of the music that the men and women who were sent to war would have enjoyed at the time will play. Hot drinks will be available for purchase, with any profits going to SHARE.

After November 11, the video will be on display at the Military Museum.

The University of Chester has allowed organisers to use the car park opposite the castle walls for the event.

People coming by car are advised to park on the main Castle car park and walk to the smaller lower University car park via the propyleum gate. The university will open the gate below the walls, allowing disabled access from the Little Roodee car park.

The names will be projected in silence, apart from a showing at 7pm on Saturday, when the names will be read out, giving a chance for people with visual impairments to pay their respects whilst listening to the names.

The History Hub @ Grosvenor Museum is holding a draft list of the names of the fallen, as is the Military Museum.

Members of the public are invited to come and read the list to ensure their relatives are named. The deadline for additions to the list is October 26.

Anyone preferring to send comments by email can do so via armistice@macfadyen.net.

The list will be available on the Chester Archaeological Society website from Saturday at chesterarchaeolsoc.org.uk, for those unable to visit either museum.

Organisers are also keen to use any images people may have of relatives who fell in the Great War.

If you can provide good quality images, email them to armistice@macfadyen.net or bring in original photographs to the History Hub to be taken for scanning. Organisers will make every effort to include images in the video projected on the castle wherever possible.

The deadline for images is October 19, to give organisers time to compile the video.

This event has only been possible with the generous support of many organisations.

Organisers would like to thank English Heritage, University of Chester, Big Heritage, Cheshire Military Museum, Good For Nothing Chester, Cheshire West and Chester, Liam Grindley Creative, Jocelyn Camilla Design, Jessie Court, SHARE, The British Army, Chester Cathedral and Donald Insall Associates.

Cestrians who died in the Great War each have their own stories, such as:

  • Mary Beatty from Boughton lost her three sons Hugh, James and Peter.
  • Two 'boys' from the Cheshire Regiment died at the age of 17; Alfred Burton, whose parents came from Stoke on Trent, and Cecil Owens from Boughton Heath.
  • Lydia Sheriff Roberts lost her three sons.
  • Margery Annie Tucker of the Women's Royal Air Force, died in a railway accident.
  • William Alfred Moon, 20, of Blue Coat School, was shot at dawn for desertion. He was pardoned posthumously in 2006.
  • Thomas Heaney, 47, and his son James, 18, both volunteered in 1914. Thomas was killed in June 1918.