The Kent Bell.
As a member of Chatham Branch RMA I can tell you that this bell is not only in situ at Rochester Cathedral but is used every Saturday 52 weeks of the year when members gather to honour the dead of two WW's at the Page Turning Ceremony. 'Six bells' are rung and the pages of the two books of remembrance (1st and 2ndWW) honouring Royal Marines of Chatham Station who died, are turned. Two prayers are said and a moments silence is observed. The whole ceremony, which is held at 11.00 hrs takes less than 5 minutes and any contributors to KHF would be very welcome should they wish to come along. Further information, which comes from a crew member of HMS Kent during WW2 JIm Tuff, is as follows;
"The Kent Bell was in use on both the 9th and 10th HMS Kent's. The 9th saw service at the Falklands during 1918. She was chasing the German ship 'Dresden' when she ran out of coal and the crew had to burn the ships wooden furniture to maintain a head of steam.
The 10th Kent was built at Chatham in 1926. She served on the China Station as a flag ship and was known as the 'White Lady of the East.' The Duke of Edingburgh served on her for a short period as a Midshipman.
When the 2nd WW started Kent was sent to the 'Med' where on the 17th September 1940 she was torpedoed with the loss of 33 crew. She was towed back to Alexandria by the destroyer 'Nubian'and after extensive repairs, sailed home via The Suez Canal and The Cape. She later served on Russian convoys.
HMS Kent was scrapped in 1948 and the ships bell was presented to the 'Men of Kent and Kentish Men' who placed it in the Cathedral for safe keeping.
Ex crew member Jim Tuff (still going strong in 2012) instigated the ringing of 'Six Bells' every Saturday at 1100 in honour of the 33 crew who gave their lives when she was torpedoed."
The service is held in the area adjacent to the Pilgrims Steps.