Vil­lage bells will ring to re­mem­ber war dead

Burton Mail - - News - By JENNY MOODY jen­nifer.moody@reach­plc.com @Jen­ny_­moody85

AS the coun­try pre­pares to re­mem­ber those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice, an East Stafford­shire vil­lage has been ring­ing its bells with pride for its 26 sol­diers who were killed in ac­tion.

To­mor­row it is 100 years since the Ar­mistice of the First World War.

Dur­ing what was known as the Great War it is es­ti­mated that there were be­tween 744,000 and 887,858 mil­i­tary deaths from the Bri­tish Isles. These fig­ures in­clude those who were de­clared miss­ing in ac­tion.

Over the past four years, the bell ringers in Al­re­was have been ring­ing the bells at All Saints’ Church on the cen­te­nary date for those ser­vice per­son­nel con­nected to the vil­lage and sur­round­ing area who were killed, or who were miss­ing in ac­tion, from 1914 on­wards.

These com­mem­o­ra­tions have amounted to re­mem­ber­ing 26 peo­ple from the area.

Dur­ing the Great War from 1914-1918 a to­tal of 1,400 bell ringers from across the Bri­tish Isles were killed in ser­vice.

One of those deaths had been that of John Bean who had been an Al­re­was bell ringer. He was one of the 26 ser­vice­men from the area who died, and his sac­ri­fice was com­mem­o­rated in Au­gust, 2017.

In Novem­ber 2017 a cam­paign was launched by the Cen­tral Coun­cil of Church Bell Ringers to re­cruit 1,400 new bell ringers to honour those ringers who had lost their lives dur­ing the con­flict.

This cam­paign, which goes un­der the name of “Ring­ing Re­mem­bers”, will also in­clude the ring­ing of church bells through­out the Bri­tish Isles on Sun­day, Novem­ber 11, to com­mem­o­rate the 1918 Ar­mistice.

The aim is that those peo­ple who have suf­fi­ciently mas­tered the art of bell ring­ing will join the es­tab­lished ringers at their lo­cal tow­ers for ring­ing on that day, said David Her­shall, from Lich­field and Wal­sall Archdea­con­ries So­ci­ety of Change Ringers.

The cam­paign has of­fi­cially been en­dorsed and spon­sored by Govern­ment and is funded by the Min­istry of Hous­ing, Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment.

As a re­sult of this, three young­sters started to learn to ring the bells at All Saints’ Church.

They have been work­ing hard over the months learn­ing the tech­nique of han­dling a church bell and will now be able to ring on Remembrance Sun­day with the other All Saints’ ringers.

As part of the na­tional com­mem­o­ra­tion and the Ring­ing Re­mem­bers cam­paign that is to take place on Remembrance Sun­day, it is planned that the bells of All Saints, Al­re­was, will be rung at: 10.15am un­til 10.45am, 11am, 12.30pm (ap­prox­i­mately) for 20 to 30 min­utes, and 3pm.

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