Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

30th November 2017 – Lance Corporal Charles Henry Read

Today was the 6th and last quarter peal at Hoby during 2017.  This time it was to commemorate the death of Charles Henry Read.

Charles was born in 1892.  He was working as a groom at Normanton hall in Rutland before enlisting in the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment in September 1914.  He was sent to France the following year where he was injured several times (most seriously during the Battle of Loos in October 1915 and again in the September 1916 during a battle to regain Thiepval Ridge).  He returned to England for hospital treatment and eventually transferred to the 5th battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.  In November 1917, his regiment was involved in the Battle of Cambrai, during which Charles was recommended for gallantry in the field for his bravery.  Unfortunately, only 10 days later Lance Corporal Charles Henry Read was killed by a shell on 30th November 1917 near Bleak House.  His Commanding Officer wrote to his widow (Mary) I can only partly realise the sorrow you must feel at the loss of one who will be missed so much, but at the same time must feel proud of his gallant deeds and splendid life. He was an excellent N.C.O. and would have gone far in promotion, as he had been recommended for gallantry in the attack on 20th November.”  Charles was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British war medal and the Victory Medal.

When his death had been comfirmed, his wife, Mary, and their three children were served with an eviction notice they moved in with relatives in Thrussington.  They later moved to Hoby, where one of the daughters (Gladys Hack) lived for the rest of her life.  Charles is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louveral.  He is also on his wife’s headstone in Hoby.  The headstone has been classified as a War Memorial by the War Memorials Trust.

It was a cold evening when the ringers assembled ready to ring.  This time we opted for Grandsire Doubles instead of the mixed doubles that we have been ringing recently.  We had a rocky start and after the first 6 minutes, our conductor called us to stand.  The decision to try again or to revert to mixed doubles … let’s stick to the original plan of grandsire.  This time we rang much better with no method faults.  We rang much quicker than in previous quarters.  I think this was due to the cold and we really needed to keep warm.  I wonder what the weather was like for those in battle 100 years ago.

Yet again, it was an honour to ring for this brave soldier who lost his life fighting for his king and country.

There are six more commemorative quarter peals at Hoby during 2018.  The next being on the 4th April 2018.  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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