• Obituary for Gunner Saffell from the parish magazine dated December 1917

    In Memoriam

    It is with deep regret that the St. Johns ringers have to record the death of one of their members, Gunner H. P. Saffell, who was killed in action on the western front, October 26th, 1917. Deceased learned to ring at the parish church at Wenhaston, Suffolk, and on leaving there, early in 1912, came to reside in the Leytonstone district. Knowing of his love of ringing the rector wrote to our vicar, to ask him to introduce him to the St. Johns ringers, and soon he became a member and made every promise of becoming a first class ringer, considering the limited time he had for practice. The countrys' call for men soon became too strong for him and early in 1915 he joined his majesty's forces in the R.F.A. After a few months training he was sent to the western front, where he was in several hot engagements. Eight weeks ago he was home on a well earned leave, and a practice meeting was held at St Johns on a monday evening for his benefit. He soon showed that he had not forgotton all he had learned of the art he loved so well. Soon after returning to the front he received wounds which caused him to be detained in hospital for a month. He had only rejoined his battery a few days when the sad news arrived to his mother, who resides at 13 Manby road, that her son had been killed by a shell. The enclosed letter to his mother amply describes his true character, and St Johns ringers have lost a true friend and a promising young ringer. The sympathy of St Johns ringers goes out to the whole family who have lost a true son and brother. Deceased was 24 years of age. On Saturday, Nov. 10th, the ringers met and paid their last tribute to a departed comrade and rang, with bells muffled, the usual whole pull and stand and 720 changes of York Surprise, the method that the deceased last rang.

    G Dawson (Secretary)


Bellringing at St. John's Leytonstone


Photo crop (passport)

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