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Information from Clive Wod, 2008
Private Herbert Henry May

M/15409 Naval Sick Berth Reserve - HMS 'Pembroke'

Son of Mr William May
Husband of Annie May (nee Bates)

Aged 41 years

Died 23rd February 1916

Commemorated in Rushden Cemetery
Grave B.748.

Memorial Card courtesy of Clive Wood

Born at Kettering, married 1904 at Rushden.
Living with grandmother in 1881 at Kettering.
The Rushden Echo Friday 2 October 1914, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Private H May of the Rushden Ambulance Division, is under orders to proceed to the Expeditionary Force Hospital base in France, and expects to leave England this week.

The Rushden Echo Friday 25 February 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Ambulance Man's Sad Death - Mr H H May of Rushden - Succumbs to Miliary Tuberculosis - Caused by Smell of Wounds - Useful Career Ended

We regret to state that Mr Herbert Henry May, Royal Naval Sick Berth Reserve, of 28 Montague-street, Rushden, who has been ill in hospital at Chatham 15 weeks, died on Wednesday. His wife came away from Chatham last Saturday having been there with her husband 5 weeks, and before she came away the doctor said it was not necessary for her to stay. Miliary tuberculosis, probably caused through the smell of wounds passing through his throat is the cause of death. The deceased was very cheerful up to the last, and did not believe his illness was as serious as it turned out to be.

His wife would not have left him but for his cheerfulness, and therefore although she understood the seriousness of his illness, the telegram with news of his death, came as a sad surprise.

The deceased was under the care of Dr Rowland Hill, a clever Chatham surgeon, who did everything possible for him. Mr May received a service medallion five years ago, having been in the RNSBR a good many years. He had been stationed since Aug. 6 1914 on the Admiralty Pier, Dover receiving and caring for wounded soldiers, who had just arrived. He formerly worked for Messrs. Jaques and Clark, Rushden, and has been a member of Rushden St John's Ambulance.

The body will be brought home and interred at Rushden.

The Wellingborough News Friday 25 February 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Ambulance Man's Death

We regret to record that Mr Hy Mayes, of the RN Sick Berth Reserve, husband of Mrs Mayes, of 28 Montague-street, Rushden, died on Wednesday from miliary tuberculosis at the Chatham Naval Hospital. Deceased was a member of the St John Ambulance Division, and had been some time working in the Chatham Hospital. He leaves no family. Mr Mayes, who formerly worker at Messrs Jaques and Clark's boot factory, will, it is expected be buried at Rushden.

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:

Herbert May
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.

The Rushden Echo Friday 23 February 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

MAY - In ever loving memory of Herbert Henry May, the dearly loved husband of Annie May, who departed this life, Feb. 23rd, 1916.

Grave B.748Tis just a year since that sad day,
When one I loved was called away.
God called him home, it was His will,
But in my heart he liveth still.

The Rushden Echo Friday 1 March 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

MAY - In ever loving memory of Pte Herbert Henry May, SBR, the dearly loved husband of Annie May, who died at the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham, February 23rd, 1916.

The Rushden Echo Friday 28 February 1919, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

MAY - In ever loving memory of Pte Herbert Henry May, SBR, the dearly loved husband of Annie May, who died at the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham, February 23rd, 1916.

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