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A chance meeting in the Alumni and Development Office on the Parkgate Road Campus, led alumnus Steve Parker (1972) to volunteer to research the names on the plaque and find out more about each man’s life. A fascinating project has followed and ensured that our 77 alumni who fell in the War are not forgotten. Steve has researched the men’s early lives, including their studies at the then Chester College, as well as discovering more about their families, military careers and deaths. Steve said: “By the end of this research, we will have biographies for all 77 of the former students. So far they are remembered by name only, but we hope that by providing more details about their lives, they will receive the recognition they deserve.”

Gaining inspiration from Steve’s extensive research, other alumni volunteers have spent hours researching the early lives and military careers of our 77 alumni, even tracing the relatives of some of the men. Alumni and UCAA members, John Lord (1970) and Sue Carmichael (1966), have worked particularly hard to trace the relatives of the 77 alumni named on the memorial plaque, carrying out research through genealogy websites, Facebook, local papers and old copies of the College magazine, The Collegian.

Alumna Pat Ransome (1972) has also contributed to the research through her links with Hawarden Estate. She added: “The oak memorial board in the University Chapel poignantly lists the names of 77 who lost their lives during this War. Successive generations of students have passed through our University Chapel that would have been as familiar and recognisable then as it is now, and many will have read of the 77 names and wondered of those lives so cruelly cut short - sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, cousins and nephews on the threshold of the rest of their lives. All had their own story to tell of their families, their homes, their College days, their hopes and aspirations - perhaps not so different from those of our current students.”

Read more about Steve's research on the Alumni blog.