Ringing Remembers is a national campaign to recruit new bell ringers in memory of the 1,400 ringers who died in World War One. All new ringers will ring together on Armistice Day this year as part of the national commemorations to mark the centenary since the end of the war.
Longstock is a village in Hampshire. It had a population of 413 in 1911, 212 men and 201 women. St Mary’s Longstock has 5 bells. The oldest, the tenor, was cast in 1593.
75 of the village’s men served in WW1, including bell ringers http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Hampshire/Longstock.html
The following photo shows “THE WOMEN’S WORK IN SERVICES, 1914-1918.
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.”
Female bell ringers in the village church of Longstock in Hampshire.
Ringing was largely closed to women before the war, and their involvement was one of many steps towards the parity we see today.
We have located the descendants of the Vicar in the photo; his great-grandson, great-granddaughter, and two great-great-granddaughters. They are all ringers today.
They will be involved in a ringing event to commemorate this historical moment; for both the ringers at Longstock, and more broadly for women taking part in ringing across the country during WW1. This will take place on Sunday 19 August at St Mary’s church from 14:00 to 16:00.
New Ringing Remembers learners will also take part in this commemoration. 100 years ago,women took up ringing there because of WW1. 100 years later, new ringing recruits who are learning for the WW1 centenary as part of Ringing Remembers will mark this historical moment. We hope to find the descendants of the women in the photo through this event, and to learn more of the story behind the photo.
Jamie Singleton from Big Ideas said, “It was remarkable that, through Ringing Remembers, we were able to find the descendants of the ringers taking part in this historical moment at Longstock. This event will be a special way to remember what happened there and help us to look forward to the Armistice Day commemorations for the WW1 centenary.”
Longstock is a tower in The Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. The Guild has 200 towers and is always looking to find new ringers to help them sound out all the bells. So far, nearly 60 recruits have come to them through Ringing
Remembers. The Longstock Bell Ringers will be in the church on Saturday 18 August from 2.30pm to welcome anyone who would like to try Bell Ringing.
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.