For whom the bell tolls

Lockerley bell ringers are paying tribute to the vilage’s dead of the First World War

Lockerley bell ringers are paying tribute to the vilage’s dead of the First World War

First published in News

Two Test Valley villages will remember their fallen from the First World War.

As part of the 100th Anniversary of the ‘Great War’ the church bells of Lockerley and East Tytherley will honour each of the deceased from the villages on the centenary of their deaths.

Fifty men from the two villages died in the conflict – about a third of those of an age to serve.

There is a tradition of tolling the tenor bell once for every year of the life of the deceased. However, most of the soldiers died at a young age and so the bells will instead be tolled for three minutes at 11am on the relevant date.

The first to be remembered was East Tytherley’s Private Willie Kimber of the Hampshire Regiment, who was killed on August 26.

Bell ringer John Palk, said the idea had received positive feedback from villagers.

He said: “We thought it would be a nice idea to remember the fallen from the two villages. It is a fitting reminder of the sacrifices that went on.

“It is very telling where there have been two men from the same family who died in the Great War, bearing mind that the villages were not that big.”

They will ring on each anniversary date for two minutes at 11am, the next anniversary is on September 10 in remembrance of James Finch.

To coincide with the commemorations, a new booklet has been produced ‘Lockerley’s War Dead from two World Wars’.

Written by Allan Kirk the book gives extensive details of all of those who fought and died in the wars and are remembered on the War Memorials. This is available from the Vicar, Rev James Pitkin, or, on Monday and Thursday mornings, from the Lockerley Coffee Shop in the Lockerley & East Dean Memorial Hall (£2 each).

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