Bells will ring out in England and across the world 100 years after World War I

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Rememberence Day Poppies
Rememberence Day Poppies

Ten thousand members of the public will be invited to march past the Cenotaph in London to mark the centenary of the Armistice on the 11th November 2018. On this day 100 years ago as the news of the Armistice spread, church bells, which had fallen silent across the UK during the First World War, rang out in celebration.

The Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport in the UK recently advised that “throughout the world, bells of all kinds – church, military or any other – are invited by the British Government with the support of the German Government to ring out at the following times: Bells in countries observing GMT and CET are invited to ring at 12.30hrs GMT (13.30hrs CET) Bells in countries throughout the rest of the world are invited to ring at either 12.30 GMT or 12.30pm local time.” (1)

The British government supports an initiative to encourage bell ringing as part of events to remember the contribution and sacrifices so many people made during the Great War and and also in the years after to create peace and the country we have today. This project aims to get 1,400 people ringing church bells on the centenary of the Armistice, the number of bell ringers lost in the war. ‘Ringing Remembers’ is an initiative which is run jointly by the Big Ideas Company and the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “On the centenary of the Armistice, it is right that we come together to give thanks to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who returned home to help shape the world we live in today.” (1)

The Big Ideas Company are encouraging people of all ages to take up bell ringing. The Big Ideas website explains that getting together to make these iconic brass percussion instruments sing can be a positive activity to be involved with as part of the local community and that these special musical volunteers are not necessarily part of a church or religious group. “When the bells rang out on the 11th November 1918 they announced the end of the most catastrophic war the world had yet seen. At the time, bells were at the heart of the community, marking events of great significance and communicating to people long before modern technology connected us.” (2)

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “On November 11, 1918, the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country, as an outpouring of relief that four years of war had come to an end.” (3)

To be part of an international chorus of commemorating chimes on Armistice Day visit the bellringing website to find out more about learning how to proclaim a perfect peal in your parish area. This unique organisation will advise on local club meetings and how to work with experts to “discover the ancient art” and practice an “activity like no other – a unique mix of physical exercise with mental agility that is a deep part of our history but still practiced and evolving today.” (4)

 

 

(1) ‘Bells ring out and 10000 to march past the Cenotaph as the nation says ‘thank you’ Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP Official UK Government website 12 July 2018 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bells-to-ring-out-and-10000-to-march-past-the-cenotaph-as-the-nation-says-thank-you

(2) ‘Ringing Remembers’ Big Ideas Company website 20180823 https://a100.cccbr.org.uk/

(3) ‘Bell ringers to mark 100 years since the end of First World War’ BBC News official website 12 November 2017 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41957521

(4) ‘Discover bell ringing’ Bell ringing organisation website 20180823 http://www.bellringing.org/