Commemorating the life of Frederick Charles Andrews

From towers to trenches, we remember Frederick Charles Andrews

The North Bucks Branch remembered Mr FC Andrews at Newton Blossomville, Clifton Reynes and Olney.

Exactly 100 years had passed when the branch came to together to conduct its AGM and commemorate the life of Mr Frederick Charles Andrews who was the first North Bucks ringer to lose his life in the First World War, 14th March 1915. The day was completed with the Branch Annual Dinner at which the lives of all its ringers who lost their lives in the Great War were remembered.

The curious sound of bells ringing in Newton Blossomville attracted the villagers.

The day started with half muffled ringing at Newton Blossomville, a ring of 3 which is seldom rung.  Members of the North Bucks Branch were joined by bell ringers from outside the branch who used to live in the village. The sounds of the church bells ringing brought out locals to see what was going on. They were interested to learn that Frederick was also a bell ringer; it was known that he was a choir boy as he was one of the young men they commemorated in a display last November.

The ringing at Newton Blossomville was then followed by half muffled ringing at Clifton Reynes where Frederick rang regularly for services. We were very pleased to see John Letts and his brother Dennis, John was a tower captain at Newton Blossomville and Dennis first learned to ring at Clifton Reynes.

The sacrifice of Frederick Charles Andrews was remembered 100 years on.

A short but poignant service was held and our thanks go to The Reverend Canon Christa Pumfrey for conducting the moving ceremony.   During the service the branch WWI memorial candle was lit and Doug Hird read a poem entitled Newport Bells. This poem was written in 1916 by Ester Bateman and is about the impact of war on the town and the comfort the sound of the church bells brought her. Two of the hymns chosen were those sung at the original Chicheley memorial service held for Arthur William Wright, who will be commemorated at our branch practice in April. Our thanks go to Mike and Chris Davies who kindly provided light refreshments after the service.

Eating by candle-light.

Memorial CandleThe WW1 themed annual dinner followed immediately after the AGM when those members staying were joined by some non-ringing family members. The room was decorated with posters that branch members in 1915 would have frequently seen encouraging young men to sign-up and women to let their men go. Ten candles were lit one for each decade that had passed since Frederick lost his life. The candle holders were personalised with a picture of poppies growing by water with the words ”Remembering Frederick Charles Andrews 14th March 1915”. The life story of Frederick Charles Andrews was shared.

Special Ringing.

The following quarter peals were rung to commemorate the death of Frederick Charles Andrews.

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Newton Blossomville, Buckinghamshire
St Nicholas
Saturday 14 March 2015
1260 Original Singles

1  Adam Hird
2  Charles Knight
3  Doug Hird

Rung on the 100th anniversary of the death of Private F C Andrews, Army Cycle Corps, of Newton Blossomvile

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Clifton Reynes, Buckinghamshire
St Mary the Virgin
Thursday 16 April 2015
1296 Cambridge Surprise Minor

1  Ruth Stokes
2  Barry Eglesfield
3  Lesley Belcher
4  Phil Haslam
5  Doug Hird
6 Chris Stokes (c)

Rung to remember the life of Frederick Charles Andrews.  A Clifton Reynes ringer who died whilst fighting for his country on 14 March 1915.