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Bishop Unveils ‘Great War Ringers’ Picture

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Oct, 2020 10:45 PM

On Thursday 1 October 2020, at The Wardrobe, the home of The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum in The Close, Salisbury, Bishop Nicholas, as Patron of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers, unveiled a picture painted for the Guild by Westbury artist Helen Chester.

Also present were Judith Williamson (Guild President), Robert Wellen (Guild Master), Nigel Walker (Trust Chairman) and Helen herself. 

The picture depicts the 90 known bell ringers from the Diocese who were killed in the Great War, against a backdrop of the cathedral and some of the churches in the Diocese where they rang.

Bishop Unveils ‘Great War Ringers’ Picture 2. Picture Unveiled

The front 15 ringers are actual likenesses, drawn from contemporary photographs and include Private Fred Kerley, a ringer from Westbury, killed in 1914, and Helen’s great grandfather. The picture was commissioned by the Guild in 2019 to feature on the front cover of its Great War Memorial Booklet.

Bishop Unveils ‘Great War Ringers’ Picture 3. Picture in its new Home

Soldiers from both of the Museum’s regiments are included amongst those depicted in the picture. While the trustees of the Museum have kindly agreed to the picture being hung in its entrance hall, the picture will remain in the ownership of the Guild.

If you are ever in Salisbury, you are welcome to visit the Museum and see the picture.

Pictured below, left to right: Judith Williamson (Guild President), Nigel Walker (Museum Trust Chairman), Helen Chester (Artist), Robert Wellen (Guild Master) and the Bishop of Salisbury (Guild Patron).

Bishop Unveils ‘Great War Ringers’ Picture 4. Unveiling Party Masked

Bishop Unveils ‘Great War Ringers’ Picture 5. Unveiling Party Unmasked

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