The Life and Death of a Dorset Clergyman: The Reverend William Mortimer

19:30 – 22:00 GMT Sunday, 16th January 2022
Online talk

To register visit:

This illustrated talk will be given by Robert Wellen who has been a ringer since the age of 14 and learned to handle a rope in 1977 in the Dorset village of Durweston, just a few miles from Okeford Fitzpaine. He says: I have a clear recollection of being told about the ‘nearby rector who was killed by a bell falling on him’ when I was given ‘the talk’ about bell safety. I have never forgotten hearing about this tragedy but until recently I knew nothing about the man at its centre. He was the Reverend William Russell Ware Mortimer and this talk tells his story. His story includes details of a difficult early life including family breakdown and bankruptcy; theological training, marriage, ministry at home and overseas and finally a thirteen year ministry in the small parish of Okeford Fitzpaine in Dorset, which ended tragically and suddenly in 1957 when showing a party of Sunday School children the bells. The talk includes a full account of this accident, including testimony from the ringers of the time and new accounts from some of those involved who were just children at the time