St Mary’s Woughton bellringers commemorate the war fallen in Milton Keynes

The war memorial at Woughton on the Green
The war memorial at Woughton on the Green

Four Woughton men died during the First World War, and are commemorated on the village’s war memorial outside St Mary’s church in the village.

The Woughton on the Green bell-ringers are planning to mark the centenary of the death of each of them by ringing a quarter peal on St Mary’s church bells , as near as possible to the actual date.

The first Woughton man to die, - on May 13 1917 - was Ernest Purcell, a private in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and a farmworker before the war, who died in the largely forgotten conflict in the Balkans against the Bulgarians in what is now Macedonia.

Last Thursday, May 18,a band of six ringers, including Brian Baldwin of Passmore (captain of the ringers) and Martin Petchey (Milton Keynes new deputy mayor), rang 1260 changes in five methods in Ernest’s memory.