We have to announce, with deep regret, the death of the Rev. C. E. Matthews, vice-president of the Winchester Diocesan Guild, who passed away on Friday evening at the age of 63 years. He was appointed hon. secretary and treasurer of the Guild in 1895, and occupied these joint offices for eight years, during which time he missed only one quarterly meeting, and saw the funds of the Guild raised from £63 to £128. It was while he was hon. secretary, also, that the Guild was divided into districts - a step which greatly extended the activities of, and interest in, the organisation.

In 1903, he was elected to succeed the Rev. R. C. M. Harvey as Master, which post he held until he was appointed to the chief executive office of the Guild, viz., vice-president.

Born at Elstead, Surrey, in 1863, the Rev. C. E. Matthews was educated at University College, Durham, and Salisbury Theological College. He was ordained deacon in 1887 by the Bishop of Colchester, and priest in the following year by the Bishop of St. Albans. He was licensed to the curacy of North Weald Bassett in 1887, and there learned to handle a bell. Afterwards he was at Ospringe, Kent; Shere, Surrey; and Hursley, near Winchester. He was presented to the living of Bursledon by Winchester College in 1899. He became Vicar of Titchfield in 1907, and a few years ago moved to Milton, near Lymington.

Wherever he has been he has actively taken part in schemes for restoring or increasing the rings of bells, and, being deeply interested in the archæological side of bells, he was largely responsible for the Church Bell History of Hampshire. He was a writer of ringers’ hymns, one of the best known of which is ‘The Sacred Bells of England.’

Although not a great ringer, he was exceedingly keen on promoting the interests of the art and furthering the objects of the Winchester Guild, which he represented continuously on the Central Council from 1906.

Last year Mr. Matthews had a long and serious illness, from which he never really fully recovered, and his death will be a great loss to the Winchester Diocesan Guild, with which he was so long and so intimately connected.

The Ringing World No. 830, February 18th, 1927, page 105


The funeral of Rev. C. E. Matthews, R.D., whose death was reported in last week’s issue, took place at Milford-on-Sea, Hants, on Tuesday afternoon, February 15th. A large congregation attended, being representative of all classes. The Winchester Diocesan Guild of Ringers was represented by Messrs. G. Williams (Master), G. Pullinger (hon. secretary), G. Preston (Christchurch District secretary), J. Elkins, W. Andrews (Winchester Cathedral) and E. Elliott (Lymington).

There was a large number of beautiful floral tributes, including wreaths from the Winchester Diocesan Guild, Winchester Cathedral bellringers, and Milford-on-Sea bellringers.

After the service, 120 Grandsire Doubles with the bells half-muffled was rung by the following: J. W. Elkins 1, G. Pullinger 2, G. Williams 3, W. Andrews 4, G. Preston 5; and rounds by the local ringers. During the evening a quarter-peal of Grandsire Caters (1,295 changes) with the bells half-muffled was rung at Christchurch Priory by Miss C. Sparshott 1, E. Hinton 2, A. Wooff 3, A. F. Martin Stewart 4, Mrs. E. Williams 5, G. Scragg 6, F. Sparshott 7, W. Fowler 8, G. Preston (conductor) 9, H. Gillard 10, followed by the whole pull and stand 63 times.

A quarter-peal was attempted the same evening at Winchester Cathedral, but came to grief. This was followed by the whole pull and stand 63 times.

In addition to the particulars given last week, it may be mentioned that Mr. Matthews took part in one peal, which was Grandsire Triples, at Shere, Surrey, on May 30th, 1896. He was also a member of the Winchester Diocesan Advisory Committee for the granting of faculties.

The Ringing World No. 831, February 25th, 1927, page 118



To the Editor.

Dear Sir,- I wonder if it is known generally that the late Rev. C. E. Matthews served overseas with H.M. Forces during the Great War? It was during his days as Vicar of Titchfield, when I was learning to ring, that we used to visit his tower weekly for practices, and, as beginners, we were always welcomed by his very genial smile. The Great War came upon us like a thunderbolt, and ringing was forgotten when we took up fighting. Having got a bad ‘packet’ on the French Front, and passing the various field hospitals, I found myself at Hazebrouck in 1915 with a leg that looked like being amputated, till a visit from the padre, our late vice-president, started further negotiations, and it is due to his handling of the doctors on my behalf that I am fortunate enough to have two legs today. I lay there some ten days until moved to England in a pretty bad state, but always cheered by the visits of the padre, his kindly smile, and talks on ringing and better times to come. When fit to travel, it was he again who saw me off on the journey to England, to meet again after the war at our Winchester Guild meetings. What a debt I owe to him!


The Ringing World No. 832, March 4th, 1927, page 135