This year marks the centenary of the end of World War One. The Coventry Diocesan Guild, under its previous name the Warwickshire Guild, lost 18 members during the four years of hostilities. In total, 11,600 men from Warwickshire lost their lives in the war to end all wars.
Many churches within the Guild have made special efforts to commemorate the losses. Atherstone has information sheets recalling the details of the fallen from their parish. In Warwick, a replica bell of St Mary’s tenor has been constructed and will be covered in poppies. The headstock carries the names of the Guild members lost and the towers where they rang.
Guild members will probably have commitments to ring at their own towers, but in addition the Guild would like to arrange a series of routes through the Guild to ensure as many bells as possible will be rung, and also to allow members to see the displays in different villages or towns. The ringing routes may be on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th. It might be possible to arrange for a central rendezvous or even a master class on half muffled ringing.
If your church has a special commemoration over the weekend, which you think might be of interest to other members, please let me know and I can include it in one of the routes. In addition, if you have responsibility for a tower with not enough ringers, again let me know and we can see if we can arrange for other members to assist you in ringing the bells over the remembrance weekend.
There are a number of different National initiatives regarding the ringing of church bells over the remembrance weekend of 10th -11th November 2018. The Central Council is advising ringing bells half muffled during the morning of the 11th and then open in the afternoon. There is another plan to ring all the bells at 7.00pm on the evening of 11th November. It is estimated 1400 bell ringers lost their lives during WW1. The initiative ‘Ringing Remembers’ to recruit the same number of new ringers during the year is making good progress. In May, 558 had been recruited so far and the intention is they will take part in ringing on 11th November. If you have any learners, who have joined your band since last November, they can sign up to be included in the total number.
If you have any suggestions or comments about any of these initiatives, please let me know.