Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peals

It has been a busy week for the Society of Framland Ringers.  Three quarter peals (31st May, 5th June and 8th June) all part of the WW1 commemorations held at Hoby successfully took place.

31st May 2016 – Private Walter Pick

HMS Black Prince

HMS Black Prince

Private Walter Pick lost his life in the Battle of Jutland (31st May 1916).  Walter was a butcher before joining the Royal Marine Light Infantry.  He was on the ship “The Black Prince” which sank during battle.  It had been hit by at least twelve heavy shells and several smaller ones at point blank range and sank within fifteen minutes.  The wreck is designated a protected place under the protection of the Military Remains Act 1986.  Walter was only nineteen years old when he died.

Five of us arrived at the church ready to ring.  The bells had already been muffled and rung up for us, which surprised some of the ringers when we rang the initial rounds and could not hear the backstroke!  For this quarter we rang mixed doubles, Grandsire, St. Simons, St. Martins and Plain Bob.  It was called by our ringing master, who managed to keep me in order when I fell asleep – much appreciated!  We rang without a false start unlike the first two commemorative quarters in 2015.  We all left feeling very pleased with ourselves and discussed the methods for the next two quarters later in the week.

5th June 2016 – Brigadier General Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson

Brigadier General Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson was an advisor to the Ministry of Munitions at the request of Lloyd George.  He was selected to accompany the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, on a mission to Russia.  They were traveling on HMS Hampshire which struck a German mine off the Orkney Islands and was killed (5th June 1916).

Our tribute to Sir Hay was to be Grandsire Doubles. Just over ten minutes into ringing the quarter, our conductor (our Chairman) called rounds.  A missed call had been the problem.  A fresh start was required.  The second attempt went well and at a faster pace than the quarter only a few days earlier.

8th June 2016 – Private Alfred Henry Higgins

Private Alfred Henry Higgins was part of the 10th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters.  He was killed in action on 8th June 1916.  His service record has been lost, but his medal card shows he disembarked in France on 9th February 1915.  His next entry was for his death.  Exact details regarding his death are unknown.  He is however buried in the Auchonvillers Cemetery which contains the graves of many British soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme and other soldiers (such as Alfred) who were killed in the actions which preceded it.

The third quarter this week! The ringers assembled at the church.  Most of us were flustered having rushed to get there on time after work.  Our Chairman called this quarter with Plain Bob, St. Martins, St. Simons and then back to Plain Bob.  We rang at a faster pace again – we have obviously become accustomed to the bells now.  We left the tower feeling that we have successfully made our tributes to all three men who died this week 100 years ago.

Further details about all three men we are commemorating can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/king-country/

Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/