Half-Muffled Bells to Mark Armistice Centenary at St Nicholas Church

Remembering those who died in the Great War and later conflicts

Bell ringers at St Nicholas Church

On Sunday 11 November, 2018, the bells of St Nicholas Church, the ancient Parish church of Chiswick on Church Street by the river, will ring to celebrate the armistice which marked the peace at the end of the Great War, and to remember all those who died in this and subsequent wars.

As well as the usual Sunday morning ringing at 10.00am, the bells will be rung after the service at about 12.00 noon as part of the national celebrations. For both of these sessions, they will be rung ‘half-muffled’ with one side of the bell sounding loud and bright as usual with the other side muffled by a leather pad which causes the bell sound to be quieter and more mellow, giving a solemn echo effect.

This ringing will also mark the culmination of a nationwide campaign to recruit 1400 new ringers, a symbolic number to represent the number of bellringers known to have died in the 1914-1918 war. Two people have been learning at Chiswick over the last few weeks and will ring for a public event for the first time on the 11th.

They are always looking to recruit and train new bellringers and you will be very welcome to come along on a Monday night any time between 7.30 and 9.00pm (from 8.00pm on the second Monday of each month) to see what happens – you do not need to be a churchgoer. Or you can contact Mike or Monica via the office at office@stnicholaschiswick.org.

When the bells rang out on the 11 November 1918 they announced the end of the most catastrophic war the world had yet seen. At the time, bells were at the heart of the community, marking events of great significance and communicating to people long before modern technology connected us.

Many bell ringers joined the war effort, and many lost their lives. Just after the war, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers wrote to all bell towers to compile the Roll of Honour. At the time 1077 men were reported as lost. More recent research has uncovered over 300 ringers who died in service.

November 4, 2018