|The Rushden Echo Friday 3 March 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Ambulance Man's Funeral Touching Tributes at Rushden To the Late Pte H H May
The funeral of the late Mr Herbert Henry May, of Rushden, a member of the Royal Naval Sick Berth Reserve, whose death we recorded in our last issue, took place on Tuesday in the cemetery in Rushden amidst many signs of sympathy and respect. Deceased died while on ambulance service. The greater portion of the obsequies was conducted in the Park-road Baptist Church, wither the cortege first proceeded, by the Rev. George Wainwright, who also officiated at the graveside.
As the congregation assembled at the church the organist (Mr J L Clipson, ARCO) played the air "I know that my Redeemer liveth" and "O rest in the Lord". The hymns were "Our God, our help in ages past" and "Rock of Ages", favourites of the deceased.
The coffin was of satin walnut with brass fittings and bore the inscription:
Died Feb 23rd 1916
Aged 41 years.
The mourners comprised Mrs May (widow) and Mr John Bates (father-in-law), Mrs John Bates (mother-in-law), Mrs W Heritage (sister), Masters T Mason and E Heritage (nephews), Mr and Mrs T Surridge (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mrs and Mrs Jesse Bates (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mr and Mrs C Bates (aunt and uncle), Miss Mabel Bates and Mrs C Bates (cousins), Mrs Bailey and Mrs Barker (cousins), Mr and Mrs John Cross (cousins) and Mrs Parker and Miss Joyce (friends).
Supt Swindall and ten other representatives of the Rushden Corps St John's Ambulance Association also followed, as also did Messrs W Bates and A Dickens, representing Messrs Jaques and Clark, where deceased was formerly employed. Mr W Langley, JP, attended as representative of the Boot and Shoe Operatives' Union. The Park road Baptist Church, with which deceased was connected, was represented by Mr J Lack. The ambulance representatives were:-
Supt Swindall, First-class Sergt Prigmore, Ptes J O'Connor, H Page, W Partridge, I Allen, A Swindall and Bugler Robinson; Nursing Sisters Mrs Farrar, Mrs Dawson, and Miss Newell, and Mr C A K Green (president).
The coffin was covered with the Union Jack and full naval honours were accorded the deceased. The Last Post was sounded by Bugler Robinson, of the St John's Ambulance Association.
The wreaths bore the following inscriptions:-
With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs C Bates, and family and Aunt Mary. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.
With deepest sympathy, from the officers and members of the Rushden Ambulance Division.
With deepest sympathy, from his shop-mates in the clicking department of Messrs Jaques and Clark.
With deepest sympathy, from his chums of the Sick Berth Staff at Dover.
In kind remembrance, from Mrs Page. Not lost but gone before.
Harp. All love to my darling husband, from his broken-hearted wife.
A tribute of loving sympathy from his sisters and brothers. The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended.
With deepest sympathy, from Mother and Dad. Peace, perfect peace.
In affectionate remembrance, from Vin, Will and nephews. At rest.
In affectionate remembrance, from Cousins Lizzie, Rose, and Sarah.
With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs E Sanders and Maud, 108, King street, Kettering.
With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs Betts and family.
In ever-loving memory of Dear Herbert, from Uncle Matthew, Aunt Jane, and Cousins, Bedford road.
With kindest thoughts and loving sympathy, from Suie Joyce. God moves in a mysterious way.
Last year a fountain pen was presented to Mr May, with the following letter of thanks:-
"Dear Sir, -I am directed to inform you that Fleet Surgeon Meaden and the Medical staff attached to the Royal Naval Division Hospital at Walmer are desirous of expressing their appreciation of your service as senior steward of the hospital from August to November last year.
"They desire me to express the hope that your life may be spared for many years to come, to enjoy the use of this pen, and that you may continue to do your best for all those who come under your kind and sympathetic care.
Yours on behalf of the Staff
J W Collins (Secretary to Fleet Surgeon Meadon)"
Mrs May desires to return her sincere thanks for all the expressions of sympathy she has received from many kind friends in the heavy bereavement she has sustained.