Isle of Wight ringers have been remembering those known to have been killed as a result of the Great War and significant battles of that conflict since the centenary of the outbreak of the war on 4th August, 2014.
Since 2014 Brading in particular have taken on the task of attempting to ring a quarter peal commemorating the centenary of a death for all the 34 names recorded on the town’s War Memorial after diligently researching the War Records for dates of death.
Some of those having been recorded here and on other War Memorials Islandwide, today have relatives alive who are current ringers, so it is poignant that the link with the past still continues and we, as current ringers, have the privilege of being able to honour these men with fitting tributes with the skill we have been given as ringers.
Chale are currently also tolling a bell 100 times when a known centenary of death of a member of the Parish on their War Memorial sees its anniversary. Several names are recorded as a block for some chimes as the anniversary of their death has now passed.
I know other Island towers, a lot of soldiers and civilians of whom we do not know their dates of passing, are also being remembered during this time with quarter peals and other tributes of remembrance.
On the Island we know of five ringing soldiers killed, these were specifically remembered on Saturday during the fundraising event for the World War I Project, details of which are recorded elsewhere, and these are recorded as follows.
From Newport Minster three ringers are known:
Frederick James Chiverton who we know was a Watch and Clock Repairer and had lived in Carisbrooke Road, Newport. He served in the 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment and was killed in action in France on 20th November 1917 aged 34 years.
Alfred James Hale, who was a son of the late Frank ( previously Police Superintendent of Newport) and Annie Hale of Newport. Alfred was serving in the Canadian Militia and died on 29th June 1915 aged 26 years.
William John Curtis Millgate, who was born in Shalfleet in 1888. and lived in Castle Road, Newport. He served in the Royal Engineers, as a Sapper with a trade of Carpenter, in Hong Kong. He died on 2nd September 1918, aged 29 years. He is buried in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
At Godshill, Harry Stuart Denness was honoured. Harry was born the son of George and Eliza Denness of Merryl Cottages, Godshill. He served as a Rifleman in the Hampshire Regiment and died on 19th April 1917 aged 22 years.
Until the recent past descendants of his family were still regular ringers at the church and on the Island.
Cyril George Petchey was honoured at Whitwell.
Cyril was born in Whitwell and was the son of Mr and Mrs J Petchey who lived at The Schoolhouse. His father was a Schoolmaster. Cyril was an Ironmonger’s Assistant at Mr. Scott’s stores . Cyril married Annie in Niton and they had a child born in 1915 named Joan Maud. They lived at Newport Road, Niton. He served in the Hampshire Regiment and died of his wounds 11th May 1918 aged 29 years.
Whitwell bell ringers will be ringing in memory of Cyril again on Friday, this being the centenary of his passing.
All these brave men, and many more of whom we know nothing, are now being remembered for their sacrifice and illustrating to the present generations that the link with the past, particularly in the close community of the Island, is ever present even to this day.
The silhouette used to commemorate these men on Saturday will now travel to the Basingstoke District for them to honour their fallen.
My thanks to Viv Nobbs for the details of the Island ringers.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we WILL remember them.