One of the Anglo European School students, Harry Saddleton’s Great Great Uncle Charles was killed on 31 July 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate and Harry was very interested to visit the area during the Year 7 trip to Ebblinghem last year. The family are booked to visit Ypres during the summer holidays to mark the centenary of his death and lay a wreath at the Gate on the actual anniversary.
Harry is a church bellringer and says that being a bellringer is part of who he is. It is one of the ways that he serves the community in Ingatestone, ringing for Sunday service, weddings and civic occasions such as the Queen’s 90th Birthday and the centenary of the Battle of the Somme last year.
The family have donated towards the cost of a ‘ring of bells’ to be installed at St. George’s Church in Ypres later this year. The bells are being cast by Taylors of Loughborough and will serve as a further memorial to the fallen. Eight bells are being cast and each bell will bear 8 names upon it. One of the bells will bear Harry’s Great Great Uncle’s name, Sgt. Charles Naylor, as part of its inscription and this bell is due to be cast on Thursday 15th June.
In Mrs Saddleton’s 37 years as a ringer she has yet to attend a casting and Loughborough is currently the only place left in the country where bells are cast following the sad demise of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London earlier this month. The family have been invited to Loughborough as a family, on the day to watch the bell being cast. More information can be found here and here.
You can read more about Harry’s Great Great Uncle Charles here.