Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

9th October 2017 – Major William Cecil Beresford

Monday evening; the ringers gathered at Hoby to commemorate the death of Major William Cecil Beresford who died 100 years ago, and ring a half muffled quarter peal.  There is very little service information about this Major in the First World War.  It is known that he was a Major in the Royal Defence Corps, and that he had died in the Burdon Military Hospital in Weymouth, presumably of wounds.

The Royal Defence Corps was formed from the Home Service Garrison Battalions of line infantry regiments, with soldiers too old or medically not suitable for the front line.  The Defence Corps provided troops for security and guarding the home front.

I wonder what part he was playing to end up in the hospital and ultimately die of his wounds.  I do not know how old he was, or if he had left behind any family.

His name does appear on the South Chancel Window in Hoby church.  It was installed in the early 1920s.  The lower panel has a list of members of the extended Beresford family who were killed in the First World War (including Major William Cecil Beresford).  The window is now classified as an official war memorial by the War Memorials Trust.

 

The quarter peal was very successful, no false starts or errors.  Only the occasional nod and wink was observed across the tower, but even these weren’t really needed.  The quarter was conducted by our chairman using a tried and tested combination of methods that we used earlier in the year.  We started with Reverse Canterbury.  We moved onto Winchendon Place and then St Nicholas before finishing with the final burst of Reverse Canterbury.  All of these used the same bob, which helped with the transition when we changed methods.  I felt that this selection of methods which have places in 3/4 instead of dodging, suited the half muffled bells beautifully.

Despite knowing very little about this soldier, it was a privilege to ring in his memory.

The Society will be ringing again at Hoby in a few weeks on the 26th October 2017 for the next half muffled quarter peal.  Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

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