*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Bells to peal for fallen of First World War

29 January 2016

richard doughty phototgraphy

Remembered: Robert Wood in the ringing chamber at Ripon Cathedral

Remembered: Robert Wood in the ringing chamber at Ripon Cathedral

TO HONOUR predecessors killed in the First World War, a group of church bell-ringers are ringing a full peal on the centenary of each of the servicemen’s deaths.

They will remember the 19 members of the Cleveland and North Yorkshire branch of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers by ringing the bells at the same towers in which the casualties had served.

The tribute was the idea of a ringer at Ripon Cathedral, Robert Wood. He said: “Each month the weekly paper The Ringing World has been publishing details of ringers whose deaths are recorded on the roll of honour kept by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, and I thought it would be a nice idea to mark the centenaries of ringers from this area.

“It’s quite a poignant moment when we go back to a tower where those people rang a hundred years before. Church bells can be hundreds of years old; so they could well be the same bells those young men once rang — they will certainly be the same towers.

“When ringers die, there are usually peals rung in their memory, but a lot of the ringers were away at the war; so it was unlikely there was any ringing for them.”

The first death was marked last May, when Sgt George Hill, who died on Whit Monday, 1915, in northern France, was remembered at St Mary’s, Whitby. The latest peal was rung on 3 January at St Mary’s, Thirsk, in memory of a Private in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Thomas Edwin Raper, who was killed, aged 22, at Gallipoli, only days before the final evacuation.

The peals are rung by experienced ringers from across the region and beyond. Ringers for two of the peals have included the steward of the rolls of honour for the Central Council, Alan Regin, who lives in London. “He is so keen on what we are doing that wherever he is, he travels up to take part,” Mr Wood said. “If any ringer from the parish wants to join in, we will include them.

“A full peal can last up to three-and-a-half hours. It’s both physically demanding — you need stamina if you are ringing big bells — and mentally demanding, as you have to concentrate all that time. . . During the Thirsk peal, I started thinking about the men whose bells we were ringing, and I lost my concentration and made a mistake — but we were able to get it back.”

The last peal will be at St Cuthbert’s, Ormesby, on Teesside, on 28 October 2018, in memory of Private Frank Brown, of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who died, aged 20, just before the Armistice.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available

 

Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website

 

Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)