Category Archives: Obituaries and Funerals

Sad news – Peter Smith – President of IoW District

It is with great sadness that we report the death of the President of our I.W.District – Peter Smith aged 91 and a Life Member of the Guild. Peter had been Tower Captain & churchwarden at All Saints, Freshwater for many years, teaching many people to ring.
A funeral service celebrating his life took place on Friday 3rd January 2020. The church was filled with members of the congregation, family & friends plus many bell ringers from all over the Island. The bells were rung “open” to bring the coffin into church for the lovely service, then rung again as the cortege took Peter to his final resting place in the churchyard – always within the sound of the bells that he loved.

Derek Yates – Sad News

Derek Yates from New Alresford sadly passed away on Friday 20th September at the age of 80, after a long battle with cancer.  He was a long-standing member of the Guild, having previously rung at Binsted, in the Alton & Petersfield District.

A Service of Remembrance for Derek will be held at St John the Baptist, New Alresford on Thursday 3rd October at 2pm.

Andrew Glover

W&P Guild Webmaster

Neil Garrard – Funeral and Thanksgiving Service – Friday 3rd May – Wimborne

Neil’s funeral will take place in Wimborne Minster (BH21 1HT) on Friday 3rd May at 2pm and you are warmly invited to attend in order to celebrate Neil’s life.

The bells will be rung “open” before the service by the local band and there will be the opportunity for anyone who wishes to do so to ring afterwards.

Please do not feel that you have to wear black.

Family flowers only.

Donations in memory of Neil for the MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association) may be made online at or sent to Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors Ltd, 38 Rowlands Hill, Wimborne, BH21 1AW. There will also be a donation box at the service.

Everyone is invited to join the family for refreshments following the service at Millstream Bistro at Walford Mill Crafts, BH21 1NL. Please do come!

Walford Mill is an easy half mile walk from the Minster. There are many pay and display car parks in Wimborne, including one behind the Minster (“King Street”) and one behind Walford Mill Crafts (“Walford Mill”).

Please use this link for a map of the town, showing the Minster, Walford Mill Crafts and the car parks. The Minster is letter “H” and Walford Mill Crafts is letter “A”:

It would be helpful, but not essential, for us to have some idea of numbers.

If you would like to join us for refreshments please let Flick Warwick know – please email us here.

Similarly if you are a bellringer who would like to ring after the service, please let Flick know.

Thank you.

Hilary Child

Choral Evensong at Ringwood in memory of David Wilson 24.03.2019

Dear friends,

A full choral evensong, (conducted by John Turpin), in memory of David Wilson, will be held at St. Peter & St. Paul Ringwood on Sunday 24th March 2019 at 6:30pm.

There is to be open ringing from 5:45pm.  Following the service, there will be a quarter peal at approximately 7:30pm.  If you wish to be involved in this, please speak to John Davey.

There will be no ringers tea after the service on this occasion, however, there is a wide selection of pubs and curry houses throughout the High Street.

I look forward to seeing many of you there (from the organ console).

All best wishes,

Peter Murdock-Saint.

Alan Sturgess – Fareham

With regret we have to inform of the passing of Alan Sturgess long time ringer and previously Captain of SS Peter & Paul Fareham who will be sadly missed.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday 27th February, 1.45pm at St Peter and Paul, Fareham. There will be general ringing from approx. 1pm.
For those wishing to make a contribution, please donate to “Fareham Bell Ringers” for the upkeep of the bells that Alan had rung for many years.

Deborah Bown (Secretary)

Sad news – Francis Ensor

Dear all

I’m sad to break the news that Francis Ensor passed away last week. Although a member of A&P at Buriton he rang in Portsmouth District quite regularly and will be missed.
His wife Sharon has asked me to forward funeral details should anyone wish to attend.

Funeral details for Lawrence Francis Ensor.

Monday 23rd July.10.30 Portsmouth Cathedral High St Old Portsmouth, burial 12.00 noon at Warblington Cemetery nr Emsworth and after at Brookfield Hotel close by.

All welcome. Details: Lee Fletcher Funeral Director. Cosham.

If you would like to attend please email and you will be sent the contact address. Confirmation of attendance would be appreciated for planning.

Kind regards


Funeral of David Wilson at Ringwood June 26th

David Wilson’s funeral will be at 12pm, midday on Tuesday 26th June, followed by burial at Ringwood Cemetery at 1pm. There will be general ringing before the service from 11am and again after the service. As David had no close family we are arranging the tea afterwards, if anyone coming could help by bringing along cake, sausage rolls or quiche to make a good ringers tea in his honour we would be grateful.

There a further memorial evensong planned for few weeks time but I do not have a date for that yet.

thank you, Emma McNally (Ringwood Tower)

Funeral of David Wilson Tues June 26th

Dear All,

I can now let you know that David Wilson’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 26th June in Ringwood Parish Church at 12pm midday followed by burial at Ringwood Cemetery at 1pm.

I will let you know further details for ringing and other arrangements when we have finalised them with the church, please do pass this information on to any others who I may have missed,

best wishes,

Emma McNally


Funeral of Mike Baverstock Friday 2nd March

FUNERAL- Friday 2nd March at 1.30 – Ringing 1pm following the 12.15 Mass

I have just heard from his daughter that Mike Baverstock has died. He used to be a Sacred Heart Ringer many years ago.

Mike specifically asked Caroline if he could have the bells at his funeral. Caroline also learnt to ring alongside 2 other friends (one which was Ron Pikes daughter).

Please e mail me if you can help.
Thank you
Kim Matthews


Ian passed away 9th November.

For all of Ian’s friends – you would be very welcome to attend the Cremation Service; it’s on Tuesday 28th November – 10 a.m. – at Poole Crematorium, Gravel Hill, Broadstone, Bournemouth, Poole BH17 9BQ

Family flowers only, please – donations to the local hospice LEWIS MANNING. Ian volunteered as a driver for many years and then later on worked in its local charity shop.

Any messages of condolence including cards for the family can be sent to Viv Nobbs through the usual channels, please.

Ian was a non-ringer BUT he was very supportive of ringing and loved the heritage of ringing. He was also keen on canals, traction engines and steam railways, something a lot of ringers seem to be interested in also.

Even though he lived in Poole, his main two ways of giving to the Isle of Wight’s ringing world was by helping with the fund raising and getting his hands dirty in local bell restoration projects (he had been a hands on volunteer at the major restoration work at Arreton and also at Ryde).

He was a member of The Society for the Preservation of Isle of Wight Church Bells for many years and, until ill-health struck, a regular on the gates at the Chale Show – hence the venue of St Andrew’s Church at Chale for a quarter peal on Saturday which is to be rung ‘open’ in his memory. He was proud to have been born a “Londoner” – so London Surprise Minor seems a fitting method.

As a side note I am told Ian was a bit keen on the cooking side with his adventurous lumpy custard and very lumpy gravy being legendary!

RIP Ian, the fun will be sorely missed by all who knew you.

Funeral of Coral Northeast – Friday 1st December

Coral died in hospital on Sunday 12th November. We have just heard that there will be a Service of Thanksgiving for Coral at Mary’s church, Crawley on Friday 1st December at 11.30 am.

Coral rang regularly at so many churches in the Winchester area and around Hampshire. In addition, Coral was a member of the Ladies Guild and also attended David Forder’s Mid Monthly Meetings.

There will be open ringing after the service for anyone who would like to ring for coral and the wake in the village hall. Crawley and sparsholt ringers are ringing before the service.

Amanda Bayford

Funeral of Irene Kathleen Ball

As most of you who knew her will now know Irene passed away peacefully at home on 7th November, aged 96 years.

Now reunited with loving husband Norman. A loving, caring and compassionate Mum to Roger, Pauline, Viv and Graham. Nanny to Irene, Ralph, Steven, Heather and Karen and great-Nanny to Arthur, Aaron and ‘Ella.

The family have now announced arrangements for the funeral service, which is to take place on Monday, 4th December, 11.30am at Newport Minster, followed by burial at Springwood Cemetery.

Family flowers only, but donations, if desired, to Admiral Nurses (cheque payable to Earl Mountbatten Hospice) c/o William Hall Independent Funeral Directors, Newchurch IW (01983) 868688.

In her lifetime Irene was a great supporter of ringers and ringing on the Island and will be greatly missed by all her knew her.

If you need any further information please contact Viv Nobbs or myself and I will put you in touch with the family.


Funeral arrangements for Anita Seamons

Please find below the details of the funeral services for Anita Seamons, who died recently:
Cremation Service at Aldershot (The Park) Crematorium
Wednesday 19th July at 10:00am.
Family flowers only, but donations if desired to Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, c/o Thorne-Leggett Funeral Directors (see below).
Anita’s Memorial Service
Saturday 5th August at 2:30pm
St Mary’s Church, Selborne, Hampshire
With open ringing afterwards.
All are most welcome to attend any of the services.
If you plan to attend the Memorial Service and are able to let us know in advance, this would be much appreciated.
Many thanks indeed for all the kind messages received by the family. We hope that those of you who wish to, are able to join us to celebrate the life of Anita.
Rachael Barber
Aldershot Crematorium: The Park Crematorium
Guildford Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU12 4BP
St Mary’s Church, Selborne, Hampshire GU34 3JQ
Thorne-Leggett Funeral Directors
8-10 The Street, Wrecclesham, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4PR
01252 715520

Sad news of the passing of Anita Seamons

I am very sad to say that my much loved Mum, Anita Seamons, died yesterday morning. Those of you who knew her will understand how terribly she will be missed.
Anita rang at Selborne, was the A&P District Librarian for many years, and actively supported many District & Guild events. She regularly attended Guild Education Days and the Bradfield Ringing Course, bringing the bookstall for everyone to access the ringing books that she was so enthusiastic about!
We recently attempted a Peal for her 80th Birthday in April – she was delighted at the idea and said “That’s lovely, no one has ever rung a Peal for me before!”. Unfortunately, the Peal attempt was not successful, and we were not able to arrange another attempt before she died. So if you knew Anita, and would like to celebrate her life in some way, she would’ve been very happy to know that a Quarter Peal or Peal had been rung for her.
Rachael Barber
Note from Valerie
The above photo shows Anita proudly holding the Striking Competition shield which she won alongside her husband Chas, Roger Barber, Nick James, Jerry Barnett and Andy Banks in October 2014.

Quarter Peal in memory of Brain Orange, ringer at King’s Somborne

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
King’s Somborne, Hampshire
SS Peter and Paul
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 in 45m (10–1–9 in F)
1260 Plain Bob Minor
Jen Churchill
Sue Spurling
Ron White
C Hugh J Hill
Edmund J Wratten
Graham J Wright (C)
In memory of Brian Orange. A member of the local Sunday service band.

Passing of Downer family head

The Isle of Wight District announces with great sadness, at the age of 92, the passing of Alfred Downer, head of the Downer family Isle of Wight ringing dynasty.

Dad to Island ringers Rodney and brother Reverend Barry, Granddad to Nita, Robyn, Kieran, Christopher and Matthew, and Great-granddad to Tristan, Phoebe and Mitchell, we wish to send our condolences to these ringers and all the extended family members. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

The funeral will be take place at the Whippingham Crematorium on Monday, 6th March, at 2:15pm, with the wake at the White Horse, Whitwell.

It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone.
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.


Shanklin Ring Out in Memory

Shanklin bells rang out this morning to remember Nigel Miller, brother of Paul and Clarissa and also Shanklin ringer Paul Smith, who have both recently died. These details have now been recorded for Ringing World.
Shanklin, Isle of Wight
St Saviour on the Cliff
Saturday, 28 January 2017 in 46 mins (18–0–14 in E)
1264 Plain Bob Major
1 Marghanita Allen
2 Jill Taylor
3 Viv Nobbs
4 Caroline May
5 Margaret Downer
6 John R Stock
7 Barry Downer
8 Kieran Downer (C)
Rung open in Memory of Nigel Miller (brother of Paul and Clarissa) and John Smith (former ringer of this tower).
First on the new tenor clapper

Death of Ryde Ringer’s Husband

Those of you who know Jo Davis, one of our bell ringers, will be saddened to hear of the death, at the age of 95, of husband Stanley last Friday.

Jo has asked me to thank all those of you who have already sent messages and telephoned either directly or through me and hopes she will see you all soon at one of our venues.

Stanley’s funeral has been set for 9.45 on Friday, 3rd February, but it is to be close family and I have been asked to attend to represent the bell ringers, which I am of course happy to do. No flowers have been requested and if anyone feels they would like to make a donation then please forward same to IoW Air Ambulance.

Stanley was at one time an avid cleaner of our brass in the Church during the 1990s apparently he said at the time that the ladies didn’t put in enough elbow grease! Don’t shoot the messenger ladies please! The ringers will be organising a quarter peal in his memory once we have the wheels to do so!

Obituary: Nigel Miller 1947 – 2016


Most Islanders, and some of our Mainland friends, have now heard of the sad passing on the 19th of December of ringer Nigel Miller.

Eldest of the well-known ringing Isle of Wight trio with sister Clarissa and brother Paul, Nigel was born in Croydon in January 1947. At the time the family lived in Kent and Nigel began his ringing at the 6-bell tower of Egerton at the age of 14 in 1961.

Nigel’s Mum was an Islander and like most Islanders tend to do they returned and took up residence in Seaview during 1969, with Nigel becoming a Ryde ringer.

His working career took him on many adventures with the Royal Navy and whilst stationed in Portsmouth he met and married his wife, Linda. They went on to have two children, Andrew and Louise, and two grandchildren, to whom, and his extended family, we all send our warmest thoughts and condolences.

Nigel was offered a job with the Irish Republican Navy so the young family moved to Carrigaline, near Cork. His job involved patrolling the seas for illegal fishermen especially from the Spanish trawler fleet. Knowing well the tricks of the Spanish he was invited to join the fleet as a Master which was based in Bilbao and the tables were turned! He also had a spell near Angola supplying oil rigs but had to have Nigerian troops on board just in case pirates, which operate in that area, decided to have a go at boarding his vessel. He finished his career with the oil rig supply ships near Aberdeen.

Because of his location back in Ireland he helped organise two successful Isle of Wight tours to the area. No doubt, knowing our lot, a good deal of riotous fun ensued!

Not known as a peal or quarter peal ringer Nigel was an experienced ringer with the Cork Cathedral band before ill health made it necessary to give up ringing.

When visiting his family on the Island he was always seen at our towers for a spot of practice and had many friends here who mourn his passing.

A quarter peal attempt of Plain Bob Major will be made in his memory on Saturday, 28th January, at St Saviour’s Church, Shanklin.

Abi in pace

In Memory of Christopher Smithies (Bournemouth Sacred Heart)

The Funeral of Christopher Smithies on Tuesday at Sacred Heart Bournemouth, took the form of a Latin Mass sung by members of his family. Ringing beforehand was by the local band, afterwards all the (many) assembled ringers were able to take part in general ringing and then a Quarter Peal was rung.

Chris is mourned by ringers from three Guilds (Winchester and Portsmouth, Salisbury and St Agatha). His interests spread far beyond ringing and he will be much missed. A full obituary can be read here.

Peal and Quarters have been ring in Dorset and London. At the time of going to press these were reported as below. Click image to see more.


Funeral of Andrew Reeves, former ringer at Burton

We have recently received the sad news of the sudden death of Andrew P Reeves, a former District Member from Buriton. He was 70 years of age. Most of the older A&P District members will remember him.
In the seventies although he still lived in the Petersfield area he became a regular member of the Chichester Cathedral band where he met his future wife, Ruth Halford. They were married in 1973 and continued to live in Petersfield until 1998 when they moved close to Delabole in Cornwall.
The funeral will take place at Bodmin Crematorium on Monday 30th January at 12.30pm.
There will also be a Thanksgiving Service for Andrew’s life at St Mary’s Church, Buriton on Thursday 2nd February at 2pm.
The Chichester Cathedral ringers have been invited to ring a quarter peal before the Service and there will be general ringing afterwards by the Buriton ringers and any others present who would like to join them. It has been requested that the bells will not be muffled for this occasion.
David Hughes,
Buriton Tower Captain
David M Hughes.

Quarter Peal at Kingston in memory of Christopher Smithies (Bournemouth Sacred Heart)

Rung open in memory of Christopher P K Smithies, former branch assistant ringing master, and great friend to many. Chris passed away aged 62 after a long and brave battle with cancer on December 30th 2016. The method was chosen to produce the maximum amount of firsts (9!) to give thanks for all the firsts Chris achieved and helped countless others achieve, not just here in the Salisbury Guild, but with the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild and nationally with the Guild of St Agatha.
Chris is survived by his wife, Joan, who was outside listening to the quarter peal and is pictured with the band above

Salisbury Diocesan Guild
Kingston, Dorset
St James
Friday, 13 January 2017 in 1h 01m (26–3–16 in D)
1440 Swindon Surprise Royal
Arranged by Jack R Pease (no. 29)
1 Katie L Child
2 Linda D E Jasper
3 Andrew G Smith
4 Thomas R Garrett
5 Graham A Duke
6 Tim M Martin
7 Jack R Pease (C)
8 Matthew Pike
9 Angie M E Jasper
10 Eleanor G W Wallace

First in the method for all except 5. First on 10: 1

link to bellboard

Sad news from Sacred Heart (Updated Funeral 17th of January)

I’m sorry to let you know that Christopher Smithies (Sacred Heart) lost his battle against Cancer at lunchtime on 30th December 2016.

Chris was one of the real characters of ringing in the Bournemouth area and will be sadly missed. We offer our deepest sympathy to Joan and her family.

Christopher Smithies funeral will be at Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday 17th at 1.30pm.

There will general ringing afterwards and everyone is invited to join Joan and the family at the Norfolk Hotel afterwards.