Bells will ring out in fallen sol­dier’s honour

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

ABAND of bell ringers are to mark the cen­te­nary of the loss of a ringer in the First World War.

They will sound the bells of Christ Church in mem­ory of Wil­liam Ch­esworth, a for­mer bell ringer at the his­toric Mac­cles­field church.

Wil­liam, who lived in the town, was a pri­vate in the 6th South Wales Border­ers serv­ing in Bel­gium when he was killed on July 5, 1917. He was just 19-years-old.

Now 100 years ago to the day the bells of his church will ring out in his mem­ory.

Kevin Rogers is one of 10 vol­un­teers who of­fered to take part in the event at 7pm to­day (Wed­nes­day, July 5).

He said: “We were told about the an­niver­sary by the Cen­tral Coun­cil of Church Bell Ringers and man­aged to pull to­gether enough peo­ple to play.

“As bell-ringers we per­form in cel­e­bra­tion and in mourn­ing, and some­times just to do it, but this one will be ex­tra spe­cial.

“Wil­liam was one of our own, who went off to serve his coun­try but never came home.”

The group - which also in­cludes James March­bank, David Atkin­son, Anne Orme, Michael Orme, Alan Woot­ton, Dun­can Mathe­son, Kath­leen Mathe­son, Me­lanie Cur­wen and He­len Foster - will per­form a quar­ter peal called York­shire Sur­prise Royal.

It in­volves 1,280 changes, a feat which takes just un­der an hour.

The 18th cen­tury church was built by Charles Roe but has been closed since 1981. It only opens for oc­ca­sional ser­vices and per­for­mances.

Mr Rogers be­lieves rel- atives of Wil­liam may still live in the town.

He said: “There are a few Ch­esworths in the phone book so there could be fam­ily in the town and it might be nice for them to be there for the ring­ing if they want to get in touch by call­ing me on 01625 662044.

“Even so, we would ask peo­ple to think of Wil­liam when they hear the bells.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­search by the team at mac­cles­fiel­d­reflects.org - a web­site which doc­u­ments de­tails of the town’s in­volve­ment and sac­ri­fice in the Great War - Wil­liam was the son of Wil­liam and Jane Ches- worth of West Bond Street, Mac­cles­field. His brother, Robert Kin­der Ch­esworth, served with the Cheshire Reg­i­ment and sur­vived the war.

Wil­liam is com­mem­o­rated at Li­jssen­thoek Mil­i­tary Ceme­tery in Bel­gium and on the ceno­taph at Park Green in Mac­cles­field.

Pic­ture by Chris O’Neil

The bells at the now re­dun­dant Christ Church will be rung by bell ringers in mem­ory of Wil­liam

Pri­vate Wil­liam Ch­esworth, from Mac­cles­field, died in the First World War

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