Chester Lads & Lasses

In 2018 the group embarked on an ambitious project to research and record what impact World War One had on the town and surrounding area.

It was funded by a Heritage Lottery Grant and split into two main areas of research. Firstly members read every page of the Chester Chronicle from August 1914 until December 1919 and snipped every article relating to the war. This resulted in a digital searchable archive of clippings that reported the social, military, economic and emotional impact the war had.

The later “All Wars” Memorial – Dedicated 2014
The Original Memorial Dedicated 1925

Secondly it was decided to research all the names from World War 1 listed on both memorials, in total 287 individuals are remembered – 286 men and 1 woman. A exhibition was held in July 2019 that coincided with the 100 year anniversary of National Peace day held on 19 July 1919.

As a result of our research into those remembered on the towns memorials, we have produced a booklet “Chester Lads & Lasses Remembered”. It records how, where and when most of those remembered died during or as a result of the Great War.

Our research gave us an interesting insight to the war, for instance the two main regiments in which the men served were the Durham Light Infantry and Northumberland Fusiliers, but 42 other regiments/corps were recorded with 2 from Mercantile Marine and one VAD. We have identified 17 sets of Brothers and 2 sets of Father and Son who are remembered. The average age was 32 with two aged just 17.

As you would expect, most died in either France (148) or Belgium (74) but we have found 10 other countries where they are either buried or remembered.

July 1st 1916 is recorded as the worst day in the history of the British Army with over 19,000 killed in one day. The town lost 8 men that fateful day, but April 26 1915 was the towns worst single day when 9 men were killed. All served in the 8th Btn. Durham Light Infantry and all bar one have no known grave, and are remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres (Leper) Belgium.

If you have ancestors who served during the Great War then why not Contact Us with details and let us see what we have. Or come and see us at our regular Tuesday Drop-In Session.

A copy of “Chester Lads & Lasses Remembered” is also available in Chester-le-Street Library