The Late Admiral of the Fleet Sir William May, Bughtrigg
Last Rites at Christ Church, Duns
Amidst many manifestations of sorrow and deep regret the funeral took place to Christ Church Churchyard, Duns on Friday forenoon when the very esteem in which the late Admiral of the Fleet had been held was evidenced by the very large attendance of mourners present.
The funeral was of a semi-naval character, a detachment of sailors numbering twenty-two under Lieutenant Ward R.N. being present from Rosyth Naval base to act as a Firing Party.
Earlier in the day the coffin containing the earthly remains of the late Admiral had been conveyed by motor to Christ Church, where a service took place at 11:30 a.m.
The church accommodation was taxed to the utmost, and many of the mourners had to remain standing throughout the beautiful service conducted by the Rev. C.T. Beale, Rector of the church.
THe coffin rested in the chancel of the church with many beautiful wreaths. The praise parts were led by the surpliced choir of the church, while Mr M.C. Havard presided at the organ.
The service opened with the singing of the hymn :Let saints on earth in concert sing” after which was repeated Psalm 90. The lesson was taken from the Book of Wisdom chapter iii (a most appropriate passage for one who had followed the calling of a sailor) and Corinthians was next read, after which the hymn “O God our help in ages past” was sung. Prayers followed and the the coffin was borne by estate servants from the church to the grave, while the organists played “Crossing the Bar”
AT THE GRAVESITE.
The sad procession as it left the church for the graveside was watched by a very large crowd of people, who had taken up positions outside the churchyard. Fortunately the weather was fine and the spectacle witnessed inside the churchyard was of a most solemn nature. The firing party had taken up their position on the high bank to the south side of the chancel and just above the burial ground of the Bughtrigg family.
The service at the graveside was taken by Mr Beale and included the recital of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s magnificent poem “Crossing the Bar”, which includes:-
The flood may bear me far
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.”
THE NAVY’S TRIBUTE
The coffin having been lowered into the grave and the service concluded the Royal Navy paid its last tributes to one who had so materially assisted to make it Britain’s “sure shield” during the fateful years 1914-18. Three volleys were fired over the grave, after the first, the first part of the “Admiral’s Salute” rang out on the bugle, the bugler sounded the same call after the second, and then after the third, came the perfect rendering of the “Last Post”, with its perfect message of farewell in its last long note. After a pause came the sharp command “Fix Bayonets” and “Present Arms” and the Senior Service had said farewell to the memory of one her most famous sons.
The whole of the part taken by the Navy’s representations was smartly executed, and made a very deep impression on all present.
THE KING’S MESSAGE OF SYMPATHY
From Sandringham, H.M. the King sent the following message to Lady May.
“It is with regret that I have learned of the death of my very old friend Sir William May and I greatly recognise his valuable services both in the Royal Navy and in civil life. I offer you and your sons my heartfelt sympathy in your bereavement”
BOARD OF ADMIRALTY’S MESSAGE
The Board of Admiralty also sent a message to Lady May which was in the following terms. “The Board of Admiralty deeply regret to learn of the death of your distinguished husband and wish to offer you their sincere sympathy in your bereavement”.
The chief mourners were:-
|Major General Sir Reginald Seaburne May, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., G.O.C., 49th (West Riding) Division T.A. York and Lady May||Son & Daughter-in-Law|
|Captain Archibald Seaburne May D.S.O., RN and Mrs May||Son & Daughter-in-Law|
|Mr William Drake Seaburne May||Grandson|
|Mr Guy Seaburne May||Grandson|
|Mr John May||Brother|
|Mr & Mrs Armfield Marrow||Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law|
|Mrs O. Connor|
|Mrs Bourne May|
|Mr & Mrs Sale|
The Pallbearers were:- The following estate employees
|Mr Loan||Head Gardener|
H.M. THE KING REPRESENTED.
His Majesty the King was represented at the funeral by:-
Admiral Sir Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair, K.C.B., M.V.O., First and Principal Naval Aide de Camp to the King.
The Board of Admiralty were represented by:-
Second Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Cyril Thomas Fuller, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.,
Other Naval representatives presented were:-
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Francis Oliver, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.V.O., L.L.D.,
Rear Admiral Theodore J. Hallett C.B.E., C.O., of the Coast of Scotland
Vice Admiral C.M. Stanley, C.B.,C.M.G.
VIce Admiral A.G. Hotham, C.B., C.M.G..
Paymaster Rear Admiral A.R. Parker, C.B.
Captain Werdon Wilson
Amongst others present we noticed
|Sir George Marjoribanks||Lees|
|J.L Greig Mr Eccles|
|Major Balfour||Newton Don|
|Captain J.G. Collingwood||Cornhill|
|Colonel C.T. and Mrs Menzies||Kames|
|General and Mrs Baird||Kelloe|
|Mr and Miss Logan Home||Edrom|
|Major and Mrs Hunter Blair||Broomhouse|
|The Rev. A.E. and Mrs Swinton||Coldstream||Mr & Mrs R.C. Campbell||Renton, Mordington||Capt. & Mrs J.H.F. McEwen||Marchmont||Mrs Hay||Duns Castle||Miss Ross||St Mary’s Cottage||Sheriff Burn Murdoch||Balabraes||The Earl of Home and Lord Dunglass||The Hirsel||Mr J.H. Currie||Swinton House||General J.F. Erskine||Bonkyl Lodge||Mrs Ross Hume||Ninewells||Capt. Fraser||Oxendean||Colonel Trotter||Charterhall||Colonel Brown||Houndwood||Mrs Smith||Whitchester||Major H.R. Small (Representing Berwick & District 1914-1918 Officers Club)||Major J.K.B. Campbell C.O.||Lieut. J.B.A. Hankey (Adjutant)||The Hon & Master Napier (representing the Depot K.O.S Borderers Berwick)||Colonel Pennyman||Ord Cottage Berwick||Capt. Liddell Grainger||Ayton Castle||Capt. Houston||Mr M.S. Thomson||Lambden||Mr Farquhar Nisbet||Mr R.G. Johnston||Duns (County Clerk)||Mr R.J. Loyal (representing Berwickshire Miniature Rifle Association)||Mr C.J. Moir (representing the Hon. Lady Miller)||Depute Chief Constable John George||Duns||The Rev. W. Morrice||Leitholm||Mr R Wood (Director of Education)||Duns||The Rev. Dr. Cairns||Duns||Mr Provost Carmichael||Coldstream||Mr S. Forrest||Middlefield||Mr J.D. Smith||Peelwalls||Mr T.F. Walton||Duns||Mrs Beale||Duns||Dr. McWhan||Duns||Mr G.A. Russell||The Crooks||Mrs Elliott||Clifton Park||Mrs Askew Robertson & Mr Jock Askew Robertson||Ladykirk||Mr W Elliott||Harehead||Mr T. Stephenson||Chapel||Mr John Baoillie||Duns||Mr James Millar||Duns||Mr T.A. Gouriay||Chirnside||Mr Walter Smith (representing the Coldstream Branch of the British Legion of which Sir William was president)||Coldstream||Mr Thomas More||Duns||Mr J W. Seggar||Coldstream||Mr C Clements||Duns Castle||Mr John Duns||Duns||Mr John Kirkpatrick||Duns||Mr W. Gibson||Whitsome||Mr Thomas Meikle||Coldstream||Mr G.W.B. Aecher||Duns||Mr R. Dickson & Mr J Dickson||Castlelaw||Mr A. Logan & Mr J Logan||Castlelaw||Mr Hardie||Schoolhouse Leitholm||Miss Blackadder||Leitholm||Miss Hiison||Leitholm||Mr George Jeffrie||Leitholm||Mr William Mills||Leitholm||Mr H White||Leitholm||Mr A Gillie||Leitholm||Mr & Miss Miller||Chatto||Mr E Chambers (late Petty Officer R.N. and Sir William’s steward on H.M.S. Dreadnought.)||Berwick||Mrs Johnston||Indoor staff at Bughtrigg||Miss Walker||Indoor staff at Bughtrigg||Miss Burgon||Indoor staff at Bughtrigg||Miss Russell||Indoor staff at Bughtrigg|
The entire funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr W.C. McLaren, undertaker, Duns.
Amoung the very many beautiful were the floral tributes were the following:-
Captain & Mrs Mcewen – Marchmont
|In remembrance of our long and happy life, from your ever devoted and much sorrowing||Kin|
|In proud and devoted memory of a most generous and devoted father||Reggie and Daisy|
|In remembrance of the best of fathers||Archie and Mary|
|In loving memory||Bill, Guy and Bob|
|Dearest Uncle Willie “Nunquam Obliviscar” (I will never forget) from||Alison & Peter
Mr Seaburne May – Southernhay, Ottery St Mary
|With deepest sympathy||Hilda May|
|In Loving memory, from||John W.F. May, Johnnie & Nancy Ivybridge South Devon|
|In most loving remembrance and deep sorrow||James & Alexander Bourne May – Clewer Green, Windsor
Mrs Bourne May – 9 Sloane Court
|With love and deepest sympathy||John Kinbarro & Mrs F.J. Morse|
|With deepest sympathy||Miss Ramay – Stainrigg|
|With love and deepest sympathy||Eileen & Alec., Lieut-Col A.C. Allan, Royal Signals|
|In affectionate remembrance||Paymaster Rear Admiral & Mrs A.C. Ramsay Parker & Mr Philip Parker R.N.||In Grateful remembrance & the respectful sympathy of the||Chairman and Committee of the Royal Naval Benevolent Society||With deepest sympathy||Mr W. Soltan Davidson,- Leuchie North Berwick||With loving memories||Molly
From Colonel & lady Edith Trotter
|With love from||petunia||In affectionate remembrance from||Brig.-General & Mrs Erskine||With deepest sympathy||Coldstream Branch of British legion||With deepest sympathy||Major & Mrs Frederick Drake||With deepest sympathy||Sue and Daphne – Bayford House Hereford||From the Officers||THe Depot King’s Own Scottish Borderers||With deepest sympathy||Clare & Brooke||In loving memory from||Celia, Eric & John||Life’s work well done, now comes rest: In affectionate remembrance||Major & Mrs Logan Home & Misses Logan Home – Edrom||In loving memory from||Marjorie, Bobby & Mary||With deepest sympathy||Colonel & Mrs Collingwood – Lilburn Tower||In respectful remembrance of a very gallant soul||Archdeacon & Mrs Sale – Crimble Cottage, Rochdale. Lancs||In loving memory of 35 years sincere friendship with a revered chief and great Admiral||Surgeon Vice-Admiral Air Robert Hill – 8 Whitehall Court Army & Navy Club||From the Officers||The Hon. Master of Napier & Mrs Napier – Loanend House Berwick||With deepest sympathy||Mr Granville Farquhar – Nisbet Duns||With great sympathy & personal regards from||The Rev. & Mrs C.T. Beale – The Rectory Duns||To our old and great friend||Cyril & Edith Trotter||A tribute or esteem from the Navy Council||Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Graves Saule & Lily Graves Saule||With deepest sympathy||Nancy, Janet & Dulcie Wedderburn||Respectful sympathy from||Mr & Mrs Chalmers||In affectionate remembrance & our heartfelt sympathy||Mrs Edward Baird & Brig-General Baird||With deepest sympathy||Mrs & Mr W.H. Askew Robertson||With kind remembrance from||Captain & Mrs D.M. Anderson (late 8th Hussars)||To the honoured memory of Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Henry May G.C.B., G.C.V.O., with sincere sympathy of the||Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty
Mrs Hay – Duns Castle
Lord & Lady Home
George & Victoria Bowerhouse
|With love||Mrs Andrew Smith – Whitchester||With deepest sympathy: In remembrance of an old and valued friend||Evelyn Miller||A token of friendship and sorrow, with heartfelt sympathy from||Mr & Mrs Bell Irvine – Makerstoun||In memory of a long and much valued friendship from||Mrs Hunter – Antonshill||With remembrance from the||Staff, past and present of Bughtrigg||With deepest sympathy||Mr & Mrs Ralph Fairbairn – Coldstream||In affectionate remembrance||Edward & Edith, Vera & Kinbarro – 13 The Boltons SW
The staff 20 St George’s Place York
|With deepest sympathy: In grateful affectionate remembrance from||The Boy Scouts of Berwickshire
Mr M. & Mrs W Smith – Langrig
From the Pupils & Teachers of Leitholm School
From Major and Mrs Reginald Hunter Blair
|With deepest sympathy||Mrs Alston & Miss Sheila Stephen – 23 Chesham St London||With deepest sympathy||Jean & Tom Morgan Grenville Gavin
Gladys & Geoffrey C. Gibson
|In affectionate remembrance of the Admiral A tribute of esteem & regard from the||Army Council,||With deepest sympathy||Sir Trevor and Lady Dawson||With deepest sympathy||Colonel & Mrs Davie – Cumledge||With sympathy and affectionate remembrance||Lady Levison, Miss Mary & Miss Pamela Levison|
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