We will remember them

View from The Trundle towards Chichester

Beacon and torchlight procession  6.30 p.m. Sunday 11 November, 2018, The Trundle, Goodwood. 

Torchbearers please meet at 5.30 p.m. at the Triangle car park.  If you don't already have a torch you can buy one for £2.50 (and sign the necessary disclaimer) in the car park.

Spectators please be in place by 6.30 p.m.

See this page for guidance for torchbearers and spectators on the day, including where to park.

To volunteer please email Tim@chichesterbeacon.co.uk or call him on 01243 811992

Beacon and torchlight procession

When the guns fell silent on November 11th 1918, 359 young men from Chichester had died in the previous 4 years. Lavant had lost a further 145, Westhampnett, Singleton, West and East Dean mourned another 59.

That’s 563 casualties from one corner of Sussex.

On November 11th this year there will be a nationwide chain of beacons lit to honour all those who died in The Great War.  Chichester’s will be on The Trundle (St. Roche’s Hill), which overlooks the City and is ringed by the five villages.  The Iron Age hill fort on the top is a scheduled ancient monument so the beacon will be built just south of it, in line with the bush on the rampart in this photo.  As well as the fire we are going to a procession of torch bearers along the southern rampart.

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Volunteer torchbearers

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It may be that each torch represents ten of the fallen, it may be that each torch represents five. 

Ideally each torch will represent one.

That’s 563 volunteers.

Can Chichester produce that many?  I sincerely believe we can.

Torchbearers will need to be aged 18 or older and fit enough to climb the Trundle and walk around the perimeter ramparts carrying a torch.

Getting the pacing of this right will be very important, so we will have several rehearsals the weekend before, in the hope that everyone will be able to attend at least one of them.

… stewards, drivers, first aiders and organisers

As well as torchbearers, we will need stewards (with electric torches) to guide spectators along the paths to the beacon.  

The Goodwood Estate, as well as giving us permission to build the beacon and the wood to build it with, have offered us the use of the main racecourse car park.  But the car park is a fair distance from the beacon site.

  • Have you got a minibus / people carrier / long wheel-base Land Rover? Would you be prepared to ferry people from the car-park to the start of the path to the beacon?
  • Are you a qualified first-aider, prepared to be on stand-by on the night?
  • Have you ever organised or taken part in anything like this before?
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How to take part

To volunteer, or for further information please email Tim@chichesterbeacon.co.uk or telephone him on 01243 811992.

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We can hardly begin to imagine how big a hole the loss of all those young men left in the City and villages, which we call home.

How many children and grandchildren were never born because the man who would have been their father or grandfather died, aged 19, on the Somme?

Carrying a light one night in November is one small way that we can honour them.