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Suffolk bell ringers commemorate centenary of First World War soldier's death

PUBLISHED: 10:56 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:56 12 April 2017

Mike Cowling, Nicole Rolph, Michelle Rolph, Jonathan Stevens and Philip Gorrod from the Suffolk Guild of Ringers at St Cross South Elmham.

Mike Cowling, Nicole Rolph, Michelle Rolph, Jonathan Stevens and Philip Gorrod from the Suffolk Guild of Ringers at St Cross South Elmham.

Archant

A band of bell ringers from Suffolk have marked the centenary of the loss of a ringer in the First World War.

The group gathered at St George’s Church in St Cross South Elmham on Sunday, April 9, to mark the death of Lance Corporal George Brock from the village. He was killed in action during the first day of the Battle of Arras on April 9, 1917. LCpl Brock was a member of the Machine Gun Corps 9th Coy, and is commemorated at Beaurains Road Cemetery in France.

The band from the Suffolk Guild of Ringers rang a quarter peal, being 1260 changes, and of a method known as ‘Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles.’ The method was chosen as being most suitable for the five bells at St Cross and the quarter peal required 40 minutes continuous ringing to achieve.

The ringers - Mike Cowling, Nicole Rolph, Michelle Rolph, Jonathan Stevens and Philip Gorrod - came from across the north-east district of the Suffolk Guild.

Additional poignancy was added to the occasion since the paternal great, great uncle of Ms Rolph - Lance Sergeant Frederick Richard Wilkshire of the 11th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, died of wounds on April 4, 1917, and is buried at Bancourt British Cemetery in France.

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