Blofield honours each of its war dead with toll of the church bell

Blofield Church marking the centenary of the First World War by ringing the church bells 100 times o

Blofield Church marking the centenary of the First World War by ringing the church bells 100 times on the anniversary of each local man’s death. Bell ringer Kenny Frostwick .Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

They fell, many miles from home, while serving their country, whether in the trenches, on its ships or in its aircraft.

Blofield Church marking the centenary of the First World War by ringing the church bells 100 times o

Blofield Church marking the centenary of the First World War by ringing the church bells 100 times on the anniversary of each local man’s death. Barbara Basey-Fisher next to the memorial to the men in the church. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Now, a century on, one corner of Norfolk has started a remarkable project, to commemorate those from the village who never returned from the First World War.

On the 100th anniversary of the death of each of the dead from Blofield, the a bell in the church of St Andrew and St Peter is rung 100 times.

Yesterday, at 11am, the tenor bell was tolled for Percy Harcourt Hall, a stoker in the Royal Navy killed a century earlier, while serving on the battleship, HMS Glory.

In total, 160 men left Blofield to serve in the First World War. Thirty two did not return.

Blofield Church marking the centenary of the First World War by ringing the church bells 100 times o

Blofield Church marking the centenary of the First World War by ringing the church bells 100 times on the anniversary of each local man’s death. Left to right William Gowen, Arthur Ward and Reginald Blyth .Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams


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The commemorative project began earlier this year, on January 10 – a centenary on from the death of the village's first loss – Thomas Farman.

Yesterday's was the fourth commemoration.

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Barbara Basey-Fisher, 69, has been working on the project for the past two years and said she has been deeply moved by each story.

'We should never forget these men because of what they did for us,' the church committee member said.

Blofield Church. Photo Steve Adams

Blofield Church. Photo Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

'We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them, so we owe them a huge debt and gratitude.'

Miss Basey-Fisher, whose grandfather George Basey-Fisher also fought in the conflict and survived, said the loss of the men would have had a huge impact on the village.

'These men lived just down the road from this church and to lose 32 of them would have been a lot for this area,' she said.

'You see the men going off to war smiling and waving, and not knowing the horror of what was going to meet them. It was a grim reality and awful things happened.'

Are you planning a project to commemorate the centenary of the First World War? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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