[Bell Historians] Charles Church Plymouth / European War Losses

David Cawley dave at d...
Mon Mar 21 17:20:56 GMT 2005

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John Oldham, of John Taylor & Co, writing to Aubrey Bennett of Buckfastleig=
h on the subject of St Sidwell, Exeter, on 5th January 1943, added:

CHARLES CHURCH, PLYMOUTH, I have been told that the church disposed of the =
metal of the peal at an absurdly low figure to the Croydon Foundry, but can=
not vouch for the accuracy of this.

On the subject of the bells of Europe during the Second World War: The Rack=
ham Foundation of the University of Michigan enlisted Dr Percival Price, th=
en University Carilloneur and Professor of Musical Composition, Ann Arbor, =
U.S.A., to undertake through military channels a report (published by the U=
niversity in 1948 under the title "Campanology - Europe").

Its purpose was to give up-to-1939 information on carillons and their subse=
quent fate; to survey bells removed by the Central Powers generally, their =
classification [Yes, even Adolf 'listed' noteworthy bells], and the metals =
obtained and the loss to each country concerned; and to list selected bell =
data (tonal analysis, profiles, metal content, ornament) on bells such as t=
hose which survived.=20

As a result of the Report a large number of bells were returned to their fo=
rmer homes following WWII. There were many bell "graveyards" other than the=
one pictured on the front page of last week's RW.=20

The custdian of the Hamburg depositories (there were four of them) appointe=
d in 1946 by the Allies was Franz Schilling of the Apolda bell foundry - un=
der the control of the British Military Government's Office of Monuments, F=
ine Arts, and Archives. The treatment of the churches of the German Reich i=
n regard to their bells was as chlling as their treatment of churches in (s=
ome) occupied countries. Appeals from German parishes to the British MFA&A =
were turned down (sometimes in chillingf language) "until" said Price "the =
return of all the bells in Allied Countries has been completed." The Americ=
an and Russian Zones had different procedures.

It is a fascinating Report (all 161 pages of it) and it occasionally comes =
up on Church Green Books' list. Well worth acquiring.

----- Original Message -----=20
From: jim phillips=20
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com=20
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 3:25 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Bells & World War two.

David Bryant wrote:-

>So far as I'm aware there was no general intention for this to happen,
>although cast iron railings, etc, were often removed from churchyard and
>other walls to be used in making munitions.

There is a mystery surrounding the disappearance of the ten at Charles=20
Church, Plymouth. The late Canon C Kelland Peake (a ringer and former=20
vice-president of the Truro Guild) once told me that the City of Plymouth=
Corporation 'pinched' the bells of Charles Church. I suggest someone fro=
the Guild of Devonshire Ringers endeavours to find out what really happen=
to this rather fine ten and if the City Corporation did take them, then t=
Guild should ask for them to be returned.=20

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