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Bellringers' Great War History published

by Michael Ford last modified 09 May, 2019 10:13 AM

Our Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers has published a Great War Memorial Booklet.

The 56-page booklet is illustrated with original artwork and features the stories of local bellringers who lost their lives in the First World War, along with stories about the Towers and Branches, the 'Ypres Bells', along with other Commemorative Ringing and Events, Armistice Centenary and Post-war.

Published at the start of May 2019, the booklet has been produced after five years of commemorations across the Guild marking the centenary of the Great War. It is fully illustrated throughout.

An original artwork was created for the Guild by Westbury artist Helen Chester (, who is the great granddaughter of Private Fred Kerley (killed 1914).

The picture on the front cover of the Booklet depicts the 89 known ringers from the Diocese who were killed in the war, against a backdrop of our Cathedral and some of the churches where they rang. The front row of 15 ringers are actual likenesses, drawn from contemporary photographs.

The Booklet also contains wartime extracts from Guild Reports and The Ringing World.

Robert Wellen, Guild Master and compiler of the Booklet said:
"For the first time, in this publication, you will have in one place information that previously stood separately. The impact of the whole is all the more moving. Guild members and those from beyond will value and appreciate this booklet both now and in years to come."

Bishop Nicholas, who is patron of the Guild, wrote in his foreword to the booklet:
"Lest we forget, this history reminds us of real people and costly lives – people from our communities, our predecessors committed to ringing bells in towers where we now stand. It is good to know them by name and to recognise their significance for us today."

The booklet, which costs £5, is available here.

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