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Bells ring in Plaistow to remember the fallen

PUBLISHED: 16:20 21 November 2011

The bells have been inscribed with the names of fallen soldiers since 1925. Pic by John Hercock

The bells have been inscribed with the names of fallen soldiers since 1925. Pic by John Hercock

Archant

Five years ago, people at the Memorial Community Church in Plaistow came together to restore their crumbling bell tower.

Now, at the end of the ambitious £250,000 project, the church’s 10 bells, which are etched with names of fallen soldiers with a connection the area, have been re-dedicated as a war memorial.

Since 1925, the 200 names have been inscribed on the bells but nobody had any idea who they were or where they were from - until the hard work of people at the church uncovered long lost local family connections.

Families of several men whose names are etched on the bells attended a rededication ceremony at the church on Saturday.

The names of those on the bell are also displayed on a plaque, which was the focal point of the ceremony. Wreaths were laid by members of the Royal British Legion and the Western Front Association (WFA).

Philippa King, development manager of the Memorial Community Church, said the project started in March 2006, when they received a quote for the restoration of the east and west belltowers.

“We applied for funding for the bells during the bell tower restoration project,” she said.

“We thought this was the time to restore the bells because nobody knew they were there.”

Anybody who wants more information on the local men commemorated on the bells should visit www.localheroes.org.uk

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