An important part of 2018's Armistice Day activities was the ringing of bells across the country at 12:30 p.m.

This was something that the Government requested of churches to mark the Centenary of the ringing of bells at that time on November 11th 1918.

Church bells were not heard during the First World War years but were used to signal the end of the conflict.

Some people may not be aware that in 1918 there was no TV, no public wireless (now called radio) broadcasts, very few telephones and, if we are to believe that there was a high level of illiteracy, little use of newspapers in many parts of the country As the actual signing of the Armistice took place early on November 11th., it would have been difficult to get the news of the end of the conflict to the whole population without using the previously silent church bells.

The ringing of bells last Sunday marked the shift in emphasis from Remembrance in the morning to Thanksgiving in the afternoon for the end of war and for peace.

Some churches have peals of bells but there is only one in Stow Maries church and so it was decided to ring it with a built-in 'message' that may have been detected by those who heard it.

It started with 100 continuous rings that was followed by a 4 minute silence to signify 100 years since the Armistice and then the duration of the conflict.

The 100 continuous rings were then repeated three more times to emphasise the 4-year duration of the conflict, each set of rings separated by a four minute silence as before.