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Helmsley Town Crier marks WW1 100-year commemorations with a special tribute bell

David Hinde commissions a one-off commemorative bell in honour of his Great Grandfather, who was killed at The Battle of The Somme

Helmsley’s award-winning Town Crier David Hinde has commissioned a unique ‘Battle’s Over – 100 Years Of Remembrance’ bell to mark the Cry For Peace he will be performing at Helmsley’s All Saints Church on Sunday 11th November 2018.

At 7.05pm, more than 160 town criers worldwide, including David Hinde who will be at Helmsley’s All Saints Church, will simultaneously perform a specially written Cry for Peace. Just after the cry, the bellringers at Helmsley’s All Saints Church, along with 1,000 other churches and cathedrals, will ring their bells as part of Ringing Out for Peace.

The commemoration of the 100 years remembrance has special importance for David, whose great grandfather Frank Elswood lost his life at The Battle Of The Somme on 1 July 1916. David visited his grave at Sucrerie Military Cemetery in Colincamps near Serre on the Somme Battlefield, to mark the 90th Anniversary in of the famous battle.

On the front of David’s new Town Crier Bell are the words – ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute – 11 November 2018 – One Hundred Years Of Remembrance’. On the reverse is the name of his great grandfather.

David Hinde said: “Frank was an Iron Moulder, originally from Somerset, and how fitting given that he was involved in metals casting, that this handmade Bell has his name on the reverse, along with the battle date. I only found out many details about my great grandfather less than 20 years ago, spurred on by a visit to Bridlington Spiritual Church in 2001. I got a message from a medium at the service who told me she had a man standing at a railway station in military uniform and he worked with hot metals. Unable to verify any connection I was encouraged to take the information away. Of course my mother was able to tell me that my great grandfather Frank Elswood was an iron moulder, killed at the Battle of the Somme.

“Frank’s portrait hung on my grandmother’s wall, and his WW1 Memorial Plaque, known as Dead Man’s Penny, was on her windowsill, but she and his other children and his widow never got to visit his grave, so I feel very honoured that I have. I have even been contacted just last year by two ladies from Somerset who were descendants of Frank’s siblings. One had a wonderful postcard sent by Frank on his way to the Front exclaiming ‘I am in the pink of condition, trusting you are all in the best of health – Your Loving Brother Frank.’ So, I am very honoured to be proclaiming the very moving Cry for Peace, using this wonderful commemorative bell in honour of my grandfather and all those in Helmsley who lost their lives in the Great War.”

The public is encouraged to attend the Cry for Peace and Ringing Out For Peace on Sunday 11th November at 7pm at Helmsley’s All Saints Church.