Of the Bath men – who were sent to the trenches during the First World War – one of them was a well-known local bellringer.
Private Albert Seers was in the Dorset Regiment and had been serving for three years when – a month after returning to France after being injured – he was severely wounded in the head and died in a military hospital at the age of 32.
Private Seers became one of ‘The Fallen’ and another victim of a terrible war. No doubt there were many church bell ringers who joined in mourning his passing. He had followed a family tradition into the bell tower.
His grandfather had been master of the Abbey tower and his father still took an active interest in ringing.
Today – Thursday, October 12th – as part of a national project to remember the Fallen – the bells of St Michael Without were being rung. It was a special peal – composed more than one hundred years ago by Private Seers – and a sound he had not lived to hear.
Inside there are cut-out plastic human shapes scattered amongst the chairs. It’s part of a nationwide art installation called ‘There But Not There’ and a powerful way of remembering those who gave their lives.
This installation also points out that pain and suffering continues for today’s veterans who bear the mental and physical wounds of their service.
Here’s just a sample of Albert’s special peal which rang out over Bath this wet and sombre day.