The Eight Bells at St Georges, Ieper.
Western Front Association members John Hawkshaw and Jon Palmer were privileged to be present over the weekend at the first public ringing of the new set of 8 bells at St Georges, Ieper.
This was the culmination of a ten year project to cast the bells at Loughborough (thus completing a perfect synergy as the war memorial at Loughborough is a Belgian carillon) and transport them to Flanders for installation in a renovated ringing chamber.
The total cost, mostly raised by the bell ringing fraternity has been £195,000, of which the bells accounted for half.
It’s a stunning achievement, illustrating the extraordinary talent of the British for voluntary effort. The set of English change ringing bells are the first in Belgium and only the second in Europe.
“In my personal opinion”, said Jon Palmer, “this is by far the finest commemoration of the centenary so far being a living memorial to the fallen”.