As you will know, Remembrance Sunday falls every year on the Sunday closest to 11th November, the anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War.
And in this year, the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, appropriately Remembrance Sunday falls exactly on the 11th November itself.
The day will be marked with the annual service at Chester Cathedral, and at many smaller events at local war memorials in the communities around our city.
But it will also be the culmination of the work of many communities across Chester to remember the men and woman who lost their lives in that terrible conflict.
Because as the years pass into decades, the names on the memorials become just that: names. Not even memories, as each generation fades away.
Numerous local projects have sought to illustrate the lives of the names of the war dead.
These include the work of David Cummings in Christleton, where the lives of the men from the village have been researched and published in a book.
The same is true of St Werburgh’s Church, where photographs of all the men from that parish who were killed in 1914-18, and information about their lives, were collected by current parishioners and again made into a memorial book, with a visit by the Bishop of Shrewsbury Mark Davies to unveil a memorial plaque later this month.
Upton Parish Council, with the Friends of Countess Country Park, have developed a memorial poppy walk, with poppies carved from a local beech tree representing all the names of the dead on Upton’s war memorial. The walk takes in Upton village and the park, and it has also been captured beautifully by local artist Julie Mitchell working with Chester schools – you can see their work in the Cathedral cloisters.
And now the Civic Trust, Big Heritage and Dr Nial McFadyen, who helped lead the re-opening of the castle, will be projecting the names of all of Chester’s fallen on to the Castle during Remembrance weekend.
In 1914, it was considered acceptable by the Army’s Generals to lose many thousands of men in pursuit of a single offensive. Thankfully such inhuman doctrine no longer applies. When I visited Cyprus recently, I met RAF crew involved in the action against IS/Daesh, and they described to me the lengths they go to, to avoid civilian casualties and confirm their targets are purely military. War today may still be terrible, but at least in the UK we try to minimise the horror.
Perhaps the best memorial to the fallen of the Great War is to ensure the indiscriminate slaughter they suffered will never take place again.