Bells ring out to mark centenary

Battle of the Somme memorial planned at Ayscoughfee.
Battle of the Somme memorial planned at Ayscoughfee.

People will come together across the area tomorrow (Friday) to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

At St Peter and St Paul’s Parish Church in Gosberton the bells will be ringing out in memory of Private George Marshall who was a bell ringer in the village and died in the battle on July 1 at the age of 30.

The conflict, which ran from July 1 to November 18, 1916, remains one of the bloodiest times in the history of the war and was felt within every community back home.

Peter Wakefield, Captain of the Gosberton and district Bell Ringers, said: “We will be ringing out a peal of 5,040 changes. This is expected to take about three hours.

“George Marshall’s name is on the war memorial in the village but it was only brought to my attention recently that he was a bell ringer in Gosberton. His parents were George and Emma Marshall and his wife Mary Lucy Marshall. We are interested to know if there are any relations living locally.”

In Spalding, a service will be held at the war memorial to commemorate the fallen at 7.30am, the exact moment the battle began.

In Pinchbeck, a service will also be held at the village’s war memorial at 10.45am where the names of The Fallen will be read by local schoolchildren with wreaths and crosses laid.

Chairman for the Pinchbeck branch of the Royal British Legion Jim Seymour said: “We are talking about 100 years ago when our young men went away to the First World War to end the war of all wars, so to speak, but that was not the case.

“It is something the Royal British Legion is trying to mark at every war memorial across the country.

“It is very poignant. Nearly every family in the UK at the time had someone that was connected with the war; some had three to five brothers killed and we feel it is important to commemorate this.”

The Royal British Legion for Langtoft, The Deepings and District branch will be holding a service to mark the centenary of both the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme at St Guthlac’s Church in Market Deeping on Saturday at 3pm.

If you are a relation of Private George Marshall from Gosberton, Peter Wakefield would like to hear from you on 01775 840536.