HISTORIC PHOTO SHOWING WOMEN BELL RINGING IN WORLD WAR ONE RECREATED 100 YEARS LATER

17 August 2018 | Bethany Reynard

An historic photo held by the Imperial War Museum shows four women training to be bell ringers during the First World War. Women took up this British art to keep the bells sounding whilst the male ringers were at war.

THE WOMEN’S WORK IN SERVICES, 1914-1918 (Q 109790) Girls of Longstock village in Hampshire replacing the male bell ringers who joined the armed forces. They are assisting the local vicar in ringing the bells. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205352503

100 years later, this moment will be recreated by five descendants of the teacher in the photo. They will ring together to commemorate and highlight the lasting impact that World War One’s pioneering women ringers had on bellringing, which now has equal participation for men and women.

They will be joined by new women ringers who have taken up the art for Ringing Remembers, the campaign to recruit new ringers for Armistice Day this year to mark the centenary of the Armistice.

On Sunday 19 August 2018, the descendants of the Vicar in the photo – his great grandson, great granddaughter, and three great great granddaughters, who are all ringers today – will recreate the photo taken 100 years ago. They will be involved in a ringing event to mark this historic moment, to commemorate both the women ringers at Longstock and more broadly the women who learned to ring across the UK during WW1. A representative from the Ladies Guild as well as new recruits for Ringing Remembers and members of the public will be invited to attend.

We're thrilled to be taking part, carrying on the family line of ringers catching hold of the ropes in this little church, and are grateful to Ringing Remembers for facilitating this opportunity.
Claire PartridgeGreat, Great Granddaughter of the teacher in photo

The new Ringing Remembers recruits will be awarded the newly-launched Ringing Remembers badge to mark their participation in the project this centenary year. The badge will be awarded by the tower captain at Longstock, Mary Saunders, who has been ringing there for 70 years.

Ringing Remembers is led by Big Ideas and the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.