Holy Trinity Sunderland bells ring to remember Great War bellringer

The bells rang out at Holy Trinity Sunderland on Sunday 7 June to mark 100 yeas since the death of Lieutenant Cecil Sayer, a bellringer at the church who served in the 7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, was wounded in the Battle of Ypres and died in German hands on 7 June 1915 aged 30.

Cecil Oversby Sayer was born in 1885 in Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland (now Cumbria). He was the son of John and Elizabeth Sayer and was educated at Appleby Grammar School. At age 17 he took an examination for the Gunson Exhibition which provided £50 for 3 years of higher education, won the award and subsequently took up a place at Queen’s College, Oxford. On leaving university he became a Lecturer in Mathematics before joining the 7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry prior to the start of the First World War and being promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in June 1913.

The event took place as part of the Ringing to Remember project, organised by the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers to commemorate the lives of 41 bellringers from the north east who were killed during the war. The names of those killed are recorded on a plaque in Newcastle Cathedral. 

Central District ringing master Ellen Crabtree told the Sunderland Echo: ""Bellringers from Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers rang a quarter peal at 12.30pm to commemorate his life. his is part of our project Ringing to Remember, which will be commemorating the lives of 41 bellringers from the North East who were killed during the war.""

Visit the Ringing to Remember website

Read a report of this event on the Sunderland Echo website

Find out about our Canny Space project at Holy Trinity Sunderland