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William Bailey

william baileyWilliam Ernest Bailey, a Daventry ringer, was one of the 1400 ringers lost in the First World War. A paragraph from the Ringing World of May 17th 1918 says he was an air-mechanic in the Royal Flying Corps, aged 19 years, who died in Lincoln Hospital, on 30th April 1918, from wounds he received in a German offensive abroad. His funeral, at Holy Cross, Daventry, on 4th May 1918 attended by a large congregation, was when the bells were rung half muffled afterwards in his honour. His grave is 50ft due east of the church. In addition to being a ringer he was a chorister at the parish church, and a brilliant musician playing the organ at Saint James Church, Daventry. Saint James Church was demolished shortly after the war. A photograph of the structure and its one single bell remain in Holy Cross ringing room.

william baileyLast autumn two of the Friends of the Daventry Museum, Angela Squire and Gerry Thompson, approached the rector of Holy Cross, the Rev. Canon Michael Webber and asked, due to considerable local interest, that the Church mark the hundredth anniversary with some ringing in William's honour. He consulted the tower captain who readily agreed. The Ringing World entry tells us that a touch of 600 Grandsire Doubles was rung on the eight bells with 7, 5 and 8 covering. On Monday 30th April 2018 at 7.30pm the Daventry Branch of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild rang a replication of the original. This was preceded by an attempt to ring a full quarter on the previous afternoon to properly record the event. In order to do this the bells were half muffled for the weekend

It should be noted that the bells were an anticlockwise eight at the time and although in 1965 they were augmented to the current clockwise 19cwt ten the back four bells were the same bells as rung 100 years ago. The front four were re-cast in 1965 as part of the augmentation.