George Haynes was a bell ringer at All Saints’ who learned to ring when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. He lived at Elm Tree Cottages in London Street with his wife Fanny and their five children. George was nearly 40 when war broke out but he enlisted with the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry to serve his king and country. He was killed at the battle of Passchendaele on 22nd August 1917 and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Wall (see picture below) which means that his body was never recovered.
The bell ringers of Great Britain commissioned Roll-of-Honour books. These are kept at St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Custodian alerted us to the centenary of George’s death. On 15th August we rang a quarter peal in his memory and were very pleased to welcome three generations of his descendants to the belfry before we began.
We placed the following notice in the Ringing World, the bell ringers’ newspaper:
Tuesday, 15th August 2017
1288 Grandsire Triples
1 Kay Chamberlain (Faringdon)
2 Elaine Baber (Uffington)
3 Paul Coad (Uffington)
4 Cheryl Watson (Faringdon)
5 Alison Merryweather-Clarke (North Leigh)
6 Andrew Baxter (Uffington)
7 Jon Chamberlain (C) (Faringdon)
8 Julian Watson (Faringdon)
In grateful memory of George Haynes, a ringer at this tower, killed at Passchendaele, 22nd August 1917