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History of the Guild

Before 1955 it was known that small bands formed and reformed in the areas of the biggest concentration of army camps e.g., Aldershot, Catterick and Bicester.

In 1955 a small band of RAMC and QARANC personnel together with some civilians rang in the Aldershot and Oxford areas to mark the l0th Anniversary of VE and VI days.

During 1957 and 1958 the "medics" were joined by personnel from, REME, RASC, Oxford and Bucks and Guardsman from Pirbright to ring for VE and VJ days and cessation of hostilities day in September.

1959 saw the formation of the Guild of Army Bellringers with S. White as Chairman, R. Jameson as secretary and R. Jones and K. Tufnell as Ringing Masters. Three meetings were held each year together with an AGM in May. The Guild disbanded itself after two poorly attended meetings in 1970.

R. Jones and K. Tufnell raised a band to ring for VE and VJ days in 1975 which led to the reformation of the Army Guild of Bellringers in 1979 with G. Williams as Chairman, R. Jones as secretary and K. Tufnell as Ringing Master

The loss of several regular supporters and the increasing popularity of 'Open Days caused the demise of the Guild after a meeting at Enford in 1985.

Efforts to reform the Guild took place regularly and bands were raised to ring for VE and VJ each year. The coming of the 50th Anniversary of VE and VJ days gave impetus to a drive to reform the Guild or to arrange ringing to commemorate the 50th Anniversary during May, August and September.

A meeting was held at Marston British Legion of all former Guild Members who could be contacted by R. Jones and A Componeli in 1994 and plans were made to celebrate attendance at the various meetings led to the formation of the Army, TA, and C.C.F Ringing Society and then the Army Ringing Society and the organisation of meetings in Enford and Milton Keynes.

The AGM in May 1996 saw the Army Ringing Society reformed into the Army Guild of Ringers. The revision of the constitution and election of new officers since that meeting has seen the Guild grow from strength to strength.