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Aylsham church bells remember WW1  

Aylsham bells 3502014 - A single church bell rang 100 times at Aylsham last week to mark the start of a 4 year memorial to the town’s war dead.

Harrold Brawn was born in Aylsham on April 7 1891. His brother John was born 4 years later, survived both world wars, and went on to rise to the rank of Lt Col in the British Army. Both brothers served in the 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment, and were also musicians.
Harrold was killed in action on September 14 1914, aged just 23, near Missy-Sur-Aisne, as his regiment retreated from Mons. His name is on the war memorial at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre, as well as in Aylsham churchyard.
100 years later, to the day, bellringer Michael Brooks rang the solitary bell in Aylsham church 100 times. Michael is 22, not much younger than Sgt Brawn when he gave his life for his country.
Listening to the poignant sound in the churchyard below were members of Sgt Brawn’s family who made a special trip to witness the occasion. Great nephew brothers Tim and Michael Shreeve from Salhouse and Cambridge, and their mother Janet from Thorpe End, Harrold’s niece, also brought the young soldier’s medals, old photographs, and a silver bullet in a golden tin - which was sent to the families of the Great War fallen.
The ringing session was the first of 66 which will be held at noon on the days each of the soldiers was killed, signalling the centenary of their death. These poignant acts of remembrance will continue over the next four years. On August 21 next year, the bell will toll 300 times to mark the deaths of three Aylsham men on that day.
On October 21 next year, half-muffled bells will mark 100 years since the execution by a German firing squad of Norfolk heroine, nurse Edith Cavell.
On July 1 2016 ringers will remember the first day of the horrific Battle of the Somme when 20,000 allied troops lost their lives, and 40,000 were wounded.
The final bell tolling will take place on November 18 2018, a week after the centenary of The Armistice, to remember Private Frederick Tortice, who died of his wounds, aged 32.
Aylsham Beane 268 ARVicar the Rev Andrew Beane (left) said the church had marked the outbreak of the war with a flower festival and exhibition but was keen to keep anniversaries of the fallen.
The bellringers all belong to St. Michael’s Guild. Their website, www.aylshamtower.org.uk, gives more information about these commemorative ringings.
Read more on this story at NNN24.

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