An appeal has gone out to church bell ringers around Britain to join in a major event this year to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War 1.
The organisers of Battle’s Over, a national and international event marking the Armistice, wants to see more than 1,000 churches and cathedrals participate by ringing their bells simultaneously at 7.05pm on the night of November 11th 2018.
Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR is encouraging bell ringers to take part in Ringing Out for Peace. “We want this to be the most widespread ringing of church bells since the first world war,” he said. “It would be a fitting and moving tribute to the 1400 or so bell ringers that we understand lost their lives during World War One.
“I have no doubt that dedicated campanologists in Britain and around the world will want to join in this once-in-a-lifetime tribute to everyone who served on the battlefields, the high seas and the home front.”
Ringing Out for Peace is part of Battle’s Over, a unique day-long commemoration of the end of the first world war taking place throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and at scores of locations overseas, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Somaliland, the United States and Germany.
It begins at 6am on November 11th 2018 with lone pipers playing Battle’s O'er, a traditional tune played after a battle, outside every cathedral in the country. At the same time, pipers everywhere will be playing the same tune in their local communities around the world. The tribute is being organised with the assistance of the Glasgow-based College of Piping, local pipe bands around the world, the Air Training Corps and the Army Cadet Force.
At 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1,000 locations, where at 7pm WW1 Beacons of Light will be lit, signifying the light of peace that emerged from the darkness of war.
Then at 7.05pm church and cathedral bells will be Ringing Out for Peace, organised with the assistance of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, the representative body for groups who ring bells in the English tradition with rope and wheel. It was founded in 1891 and represents 65 affiliated societies of local ringers from all over the British Isles and in Australia, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Italy.
Mr Peek said: “The stirring sound of church and cathedral bells will provide a fitting conclusion to a day of contemplation, commemoration and, ultimately, celebration as the United Kingdom and other nations reflect on events a century ago, on the battlefields of Europe and at home in our factories and farms.
“I hope as many people as possible will join us in the Battle’s Over events to mark the conclusion of the first world war and pay tribute to the loved ones who played their part.”
The event is supported by the Society of Editors in the UK. The Society’s executive director Ian Murray said: “As a Society we strive to protect freedom of speech and expression which is integral to our way of life. However, no matter how important our part in this struggle, the role played by those brave men and women who fought to preserve our freedoms on the battlefields and the home front in the Great War and those that have followed towers over us. I am delighted that the Society is able to support Battle’s Over this year and will be urging our members and the media as a whole to follow suit.”
Churches can register their involvement by completing the Ringing out for Peace entry form found at – www.brunopeek.co.uk
The event has four charities linked to it – The Royal Naval Association, Army Benevolent Fund – the Soldiers Charity, RAF Benevolent Fund and the Merchant Navy Association.
More information on Battle’s Over – A Nation's Tribute 11th November 2018, and how to take part, can be found at www.brunopeek.co.uk
For further information or interviews please contact Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster on 44 (0)7737 262913 or email@example.com