Ringing for the Armistice this year was extra special for us up in the tower. About one year ago, there was a National Campaign to recruit 1400 new bell ringers to acknowledge those ringers who lost their lives in World War 1, including Harrison for those who follow the Archers!
We know about this figure due to the work undertaken by Alan Regin MBE. He is keeper of the Rolls of Honour compiled initially in 1918, but have since been found to be short of more than 300 names. He has researched tirelessly to update the books to include all the names.
The ringing of bells at 11am on the 11th November 1918 was a very poignant moment to mark the end of hostilities. Interestingly, reports of the quality of the ringing on this day were that it was certainly not perfect as many of the experienced ringers were away at war still or had lost their lives.
Churches and ringing teachers up and down the country have worked hard to recruit and train new ringers. At St. Mary’s we had 3 new recruits, and 1 returner. All were given a commemorative badge by the Central Council of Church bellringers to mark the occasion. On the day we had 14 ringers in the tower.
This year to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, ringers were encouraged, along with the new recruits, to take part in ringing at certain parts of the day. Here at St. Mary’s we rang half muffled before and after the 11am service on the 11th November. Across the country hundreds of churches took part, including some that had been silent due to lack of ringers.
It was truly as special day for us up in the tower.