Beer's bells to ring in memory of fallen soldier's anniversary

PUBLISHED: 09:30 27 March 2018

St Michael's Church in Beer. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shb 6410-26-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

St Michael's Church in Beer. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shb 6410-26-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

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The bells of St Michael's Church in Beer will ring out in remembrance of a bell ringer killed 100 years ago in World War One.

The tribute is to James Simmonds, a farm labourer from Braywood, Oxfordshire.

The bell ringer served as a private in the 1st Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers during World War One.

He was killed on March 27 1918 during the final German offensive of the war – and was among 1,400 bellringers who died during the conflict.

Beer historian Richard Scott said: “James never lived in Devon, but in 1963 the bells from Braywood were moved to the parish church in Beer, and so the bells which he once rang will ring in his memory exactly one hundred years after his death. The German offensive began on March 21 1918, which became the second worst day in the history of the British Army in terms of the number of casualties suffered.”

The bells will be rung at 7pm on Tuesday, March 27.

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