On Sunday 11th November, Arran churches will be among 1000s of others across the country to ring their bells to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war.
Across the UK, many thousands of bellringers at more than 3,000 towers are preparing to join the international initiative to celebrate the day the guns fell silent after more than four years of fighting – and the peace and friendship that now exists between former enemies.
Between 1914 and 1918 regulations introduced under the Defence of the Realm Act severely curtailed the amount of bellringing that could take place. This, together with the departure of so many men to the front, meant that church bells were rarely heard.
Ironically, with so many ringers at the front, accounts from the time recall how the bells that announced the end of the war on 11 November 1918 were not rung particularly well – even though it was through their ringing that most people learned of the end of the war. Older ringers, former ringers and just about anyone who could lend a hand got involved.
Battles O’er – Ringing out for Peace
The organisers of ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’, a national and international event to mark the Armistice, want to see more than 1,000 cathedrals and churches participate by ringing their bells simultaneously at 7.05pm on the night of November 11th 2018.
The all day event to mark the Centenary will begin at 6am on November 11th 2018 outside every Anglican Cathedral in this country when a lone piper will play Battle’s O’er – a traditional tune played after a battle.
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 Glasgow-based College of Piping, local pipe bands around the world, Air Training Corps and the Army Cadet Force.
That evening, at 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1,000 locations across the country, this will be followed at 7pm with WW1 Beacons of Light signifying the light of peace that emerged from the dreadful darkness of war.
Then at 7.05pm church and cathedral bells will ring out in, Ringing Out for Peace, being organised with the assistance of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
Angus Adamson told the Voice about some of the plans for the Arran Churches.
He said, “The congregations of Arran Churches Together who have a bell in their buildings are going to ring their church bells for 10 minutes from 7.05 pm on Sunday 11th November, as will all other churches the length and breadth of the UK. Many are hoping to invite the youngest members of their congregation to carry out this task. St Molios are also holding a torch light vigil and there will be a piper to play a lament. Both Brodick and St Molios Churches intend to mask their floodlights with Red in response to an appeal from the British Legion.”
All are welcome to attend.