GREAT WAR CENTENARY
August 4th 2014 marked the start of the commemoration of the ‘Great War’ Centenary. Large numbers of bell-ringers from the British Isles and its then, Empire, served in that war in ‘His Majesty’s Forces’ on Sea, Land and in the Air, at home and abroad, some never to return.
I’m sure that those who did return from active war service suffered in some way for the rest of their lives, through the wounds they had received, mentally and/or physically or through what they had seen in that war.
With the death of Florence Beatrice Green (née Patterson; 19th February 1901 – 4th February 2012) who was the last surviving service personnel, [an English woman who had joined the Women's Royal Air Force on 3rd September 1918] the Great War passed into history.
We also mustn’t forget those who had served, not in the services, but on the ‘Home Front’ to help keep the country running to provide the food and the material for use at home and in the war. Some such as munition workers were killed or died through accidents in the workplace or illness brought on by their work, some may have also been bell-ringers.
At present there are 1,360 bell-ringers from 71 Societies listed who gave their lives in the service of their King and Country during the Great War. All of these names are commemorated in the two volumes of ‘The Central Council Memorial Book of Church Bell-Ringers Who Fell in the Great War 1914-1918’. When I say at present, I’m sure that there's more names still to be discovered.
The original illuminated volume of ‘The Central Council Memorial Book of Church Bell-Ringers Who Fell in the Great War of 1914-1918’ was completed in 1924 and contained some 1,077 names to which there have been three addendums: the first in 1995 (36 names) the second in 2005 (20 names) and the third in 2007 (77 names) increasing the total to 1,210 in all.
This last addendum effectively filled the original book and with research continuing and more names coming to light a new volume was commissioned and published in 2012. So far, 106 names have been added to the new volume with more pending, thus ensuring as many ringers as possible are permanently commemorated.
The volumes can be viewed in a display case on the way up to the Ringing Chamber at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London and images of the pages are also available to view on-line at: www.cccbr.org.uk/rolls/
Alan Regin, the current Steward of the Rolls of Honour, for the CCCBR, along with other ringers from around the UK have carried out a tremendous amount of research in recent years obtaining additional names that, for one reason or another, had been omitted. From the SCACR: Alan Baldock, Stella Bianco, David Kirkcaldy, Margaret Oram, and Richard Verrall to name just five, I’m sure there are others … have insured that names omitted from the original SCACR Roll of those who died and therefore 'The Central Council Memorial Book of Church Bell-Ringers Who Fell in the Great War of 1914-1918’ are now commemorated. They are all owed a vote of thanks for the work they have done.
The lastest pdf file update [Jan 2017] of the SCACR Roll of Honour can be found here. Should you notice any errors in this file then please inform me so I can make the appropriate amendments.
We also encourage you to participate in this memorial by contributing any photographs or biographical details that you may have on the names.