I know that the majority of ringers in the Branch will be busy ringing for Armistice services and events over the coming weekend. The bells in churches across the Peterborough area, and at the Cathedral, will ring out over the weekend to commemorate the peace, whether it is on Saturday for local events, for the morning Remembrance Service, in the afternoon or evening on the Sunday.
As you ring over the weekend, please remember the fallen. The Roll of Honour on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers website identifies 7 ringers, linked to churches in Peterborough and the surrounding villages, who lost their lives in WW1. The one we know most about is:
Corporal Harold Bemrose DCM, who rang at St John’s Church in Peterborough. He died on 13 April 1918, aged 24, serving in the 1st Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. He died at No 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station from wounds received earlier in the day at Wytschaete near Kemmel, Belgium. He was awarded the DCM for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in charge of a party of 20 men. Although isolated, he consolidated a shell hole position, and held it all day. At nightfall, he established a connection with the posts on either flank and volunteered to attack a machine gun, which was causing trouble. His grave is commemorated at Nine Elms British Cemetery, Belgium, Grave XIV F 12.
To mark the final year of the First World War centenary commemorations, it was announced in 2017 that 1,400 new bell ringers would be recruited in honour of the 1,400 who lost their lives during the First World War. This campaign has been very successful and to date there are some 1,700 new ringers registered with the website.
The Peterborough Branch has been doing its bit in encouraging new ringers and I know of at least 15 who have been trained across the area, and I suspect there are more. As many of these new ringers as possible will take part in the ringing on Sunday 11 November, some ringing for a service for the first time. Special badges for these new recruits have been produced by the Central Council to recognise their participation as learners in the Ringing Remembers campaign, and they will wear their badges with pride on the day. I hope that you will encourage them to become members of the branch. They can be proposed as members at the AGM in January next year.
A very big thank you to all those who have been organising bands in your own Tower, or across a number of Towers, and also to those who have been recruiting and training our new ringers.
Please remember to post details of your ringing on Bellboard or on social media such as on the DCMS hashtag #armistice100.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!