Lord Mayor leads Chesters commemoration of First World War sacrifice

Chester Cathedral

Lord and lady Mayoress of Chester, Councillor Bob Rudd and his wife Sandra, and Lord Lieutenant David Briggs, prepare to lay the floral tributes.

The Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Bob Rudd led Chester’s commemoration of those who sacrificed all for their country in the First World War.

A service of remembrance was held at the war memorial in the grounds of Chester Cathedral, on Monday, to mark the country’s declaration of war, which claimed the lives of almost 900,000 British and Allied servicemen.

Cllr Rudd and his wife Sandra, the Lady Mayoress, led civic and service representatives in laying wreaths during a service conducted by the Dean of Chester, the Very Reverend Professor Gordon McPhate.

During the service, former Mercian Regiment cadet Nicki Chavasse, the great, great niece of double Victoria Cross winner Captain Noel Chavasse, read the poem ‘Safety’ by First World War soldier-poet, Rupert Brook.

Chavasse, a doctor serving in the 10th Battalion the Kings Liverpool Regiment and the most highly decorated soldier in the ‘ War to end all Wars ‘ died from his wounds two days after his conspicuous gallantry at Passchendale had won him a second VC.

John Schofield, Secretary of the Kings Regiment Association, laid the colours on behalf of the Regiment.

Chester Cathedral

Nicki Chavasse, great, great niece of double Victoria Cross winner captain Noel Chavasse reads Rupert Brook’s poem, watched by dignitaries at the commemorative service

Also present were the Duke of Westminster , who until his retirement held the rank of Major General in the Army Reserve, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs and his wife, High Sheriff of Cheshire, Susan Sellers and her husband , Mike Jones, Leader of the Council and his wife and Chief Executive Steve Robinson.

They were joined by representatives of The Mercian Regiment, Cheshire Fire and Police Services, former civic heads and honourable Aldermen and Freemen of the city.

The Lord Mayor also took part in the national Lights Out act of remembrance in the evening when all the Town Hall illumination was switched off, apart from a solitary light which remained on for an hour in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour.

Flowers and a book of condolence to mark the start of The First World War have been placed next to the scroll of honour in Chester Town Hall. For this week and will be available during the next four years to commemorate key battles such as the Somme, Ypres and Mons.

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