A Crimean Veteran
Rushden Hero Laid to Rest
A Rushden link with the Crimean Campaign was severed on Sunday, the 8th inst., when Sergt. George Bacon, a veteran of the Crimea, died at Chelsea Hospital.
Mr George Bacon
Until 1919, when he entered the hospital, Rushden possessed no more picturesque and interesting townsman than Sergt. Bacon, whose tall soldierly figure was familiar to almost everyone. He was “the old soldier” through and through, and belonged to a family four of whose generations have given every male member to the fighting forces. In his soldiering days he served with the 33rd (Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment. He was one of six brothers who all joined the Army, three serving in the Crimean War, one gaining the French Medal Militaire; and one of his soldier sons saw service in the African Campaign.
A Musical Pioneer
At Rushden Sergt. Bacon was held in high esteem and he figured prominently in many connections. A great lover of music, he was the second conductor of the National Band, the first band formed in Rushden, and was one of the first judges at the Belle Vue contests. He could play almost any instrument, and composed several meritorious pieces of music. Often he would lead public processions at Rushden and on those occasions he always wore several of his war medals.
The deceased gentleman took a great interest in at least three of the Rushden clubs being a life member of the Band Club (of which he was the first steward), a member of the Conservative Club and the first president of the Athletic Club Harmonic Society. Just before leaving Rushden he resided in Queen Street. He entered the Chelsea Hospital exactly two years ago and died at the great age of 92 years.
The Last Journey
The coffin containing the remains was brought to Rushden on Friday and the interment took place on Saturday morning. Many musicians and several ex-Service men were included in the large company that assembled at the grave side. Councillor T. Willmott represented the Conservative Club, and Messrs. H. Roberts (president) and T. Litchfield (secretary) the Town Band Cub. An interesting spectator was Mr. J.V. Meadows, now the oldest ex service man in Rushden.
Following are the names of the principal mourners: Mr. A. Bacon, Yardley Hastings (son); Mrs. Harris (Northampton (daughter); Mr. and Mrs. F. Longland (Yardley Hastings) (son in law and daughter); Mr. and Mrs. A. Miller (Northampton) (son in law and daughter), Mrs. Claridge, Northampton (grand-daughter); Miss Longland Yardley Hastings (grand-daughter) and Drum Major Rixon (Wellingborough)
The party bearing the flag covered coffin to the grave comprised Sergt. Major Reynolds of Irthlingborough (in charge); Sergt. Len Garrod; Corpl. Dixon and Ptes W. Smith, F. Tear, G. Thurlow and F. King.
A Touching Tribute
In accordance with the wish of the deceased, the members of the Athletic Club Harmonic Society attended and sang at the graveside Dykes’ setting of “Rock of Ages”. The Rifle Band was present and played the “Dead March” (Handel) and a hymn tune “Henry” composed by Sergt. Bacon.
In a short address the Rev. Percy Robson M.A. (Rector of Rushden), who conducted the burial, said they had brought home to its last resting place the body of George Bacon, one who served his generation well and faithfully, and had now gone to his last rest. He did not know, but he should think he was probably the last remaining one of the old Crimean veterans in the district, looking back on many years of service for his Country; service nobly done and splendidly fulfilled. He (Mr. Robson) only knew him after he had retired from active service and would always remember him as erect, straight, strong and true, a man whom one could always admire. He was glad to see there those representing the Forces of the King, the Army in which the deceased served before many of those present were born. He was also glad to see there those who represented something of the musical talent of the town, for he knew what a large share the deceased had taken in forwarding the musical talents of the town.
Wreaths were sent by the following: “Albert and Eveline”; “Margaret and family”; “All at Yardley Hastings”; “Albert and Harriet”; “Mr. and Mrs. Attley and Evelyn”; “Town Band Club”; and the “Athletic Harmonic Society”.
During the morning flags on some of the clubs were flown at half mast.