Wellington’s Bell Stories

Visitors to Pukeahu National War Memorial Park have the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the stories behind five of the Carillon bells dedicated by Wellingtonians in memory of those who died in the World War One. You can find out more by exploring Wellington’s Bell Stories visitor display in the Hall of Memories, inside the National War Memorial.

Donated by Wellington City Council, Wellington’s Bell Stories currently includes:

  • The Gaizencourt bell which was donated by Percy Skelley’s widow Agnes and his younger brother Claude. An experienced staff officer, Percy Skelley gave-up his position at army headquarters to fight on the front line. His decision cost him his life.
  • The Armentières bell was given by Susan Cook in memory of her son Robert Cook. Robert Cook was an underage soldier from Johnsonville.
  • Italia Corich donated the Krithia bell in memory of her brother Ateo Frandi. A Wellingtonian of Italian birth Ateo Frandi survived the Gallipoli landings, but died soon after during the failed attempt to capture Krithia.
  • Nurses from all over New Zealand contributed funds to purchase The Nurses Bell in memory of their fallen colleagues.
  • The Flanders Fields bell was given by Harold Beauchamp in memory of his only son, Leslie. Leslie Beauchamp, the brother of celebrated New Zealand author Katherine Mansfield, was killed in a training accident in the Flanders region of the Western Front.

Do you know a story behind the Carillon bells?

The original 49 bells were private donations in memory of First World War casualties. We are keen to tell more of Wellington’s Bell Stories and want to hear from anyone who may have a personal connection to one the Carillon bells.

Leslie Heron Beauchamp, Robert Cook, Ateo Frandi, Percy Skelley.

Recognise the names above? Could you be a descendant of Percy Skelley, Robert Cook, Ateo Frandi or Leslie Heron Beauchamp by chance? If this rings a bell with you (we couldn’t resist!) or someone you know and you’d like to share your descendant’s own bell story please get in touch with us at [email protected]

Image of the Messines Bell inside the Carillon (bell number 42).

Read a list of the inscriptions from the original 49 bells https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/bells-of-remembrance


Updated on 17th December 2019