Village bells will ring to remember war dead
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.