MEMORIAL SERVICE at the BAPTIST CHURCH
TOUCHING EULOGIUM BY THE PASTOR
In memory of the late Mr. Ada, who was organist at the Baptist Church, Marlow-road, a memorial service was held on Sunday morning, when the rough and wet weather was against a large attendance.
The service was conducted by the Pastor (the Rev. T. Wreford Way), who in his opening prayer reflected the thought uppermost in the minds of all present, beseeching Divine help to bear the "load of sorrow," and that the present seasons of sadness might be sanctified to the nation's welfare. The hymns included the late organist's favourites. Among them were Bishop Walsham How's memorial hymn, "For all the saints who from their labours rest," having that strikingly appropriate line for the sad occasion - "Soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest," In the second prayer, Mr Way appealed that our arms, and those of the Allies, might be upheld by God; that the cruel, ambitious Power which started strife and had been the instrument of so many precious lives being taken might be cast down, and it opportunities for war be taken away, and that the time of great peace in the world might soon come. Hymn 456, written by a Leeds solicitor named Rawson, was well-chosen to commemorate the late hero-
Captain and Saviour of the host
Of Christian chivalry
We bless Thee for our comrade true,
Now summoned up to Thee."
In his special memorial address, the Rev. T. WREFORD WAY adopted as test the words from Proverbs, "The memory of the just is blessed". He said that one of their members had passed away after having been spared to fill a useful position in life and to render many years of service in that church. Many of those who were falling in this sad and devastating war were the young men leaving behind fathers and mothers and betrothed ones, and the grief of these was great, perhaps greatest for the last-named. The loss to the nation could not be measured, for who could say what good these might might have wrought had they lived? But war was costly and this war was the costliest of them all. It was right that war should be costly, in order to bring home to the nations the evil nature, how alien it was in itself from the plans and wishes of God. But the preacher could see no way how this nation could refuse the challenge of Germany, or refuse to be true to its treaty obligations, and he prayed that the German Power that was responsible for this devastating war would be conquered and briought lw, rendered unable to stir up and strike again. The glory of the recent naval engagement on the Belgian Coast had for a large number lost its lustre because their loved ones fell in battle, but there was in that engagement the touch of Nelson and the historic dash of the Royal Navy. One of them, whose musical gifts they of that Church valued highly, lost his life there. The Church had lost its faithful organist: his mother had lost a good son, and his betrothed had lost a devoted lover with whom there was all the promise of a pattern husband and a happy future. They had all hoped at that Church to see him back again, when the war was over, filling once more the place he had filled so well for some eleven or twelve years; but that hope was not to be realised - it was one of the many hopes doomed to disappointment by this war. When he was at home on leave he enjoyed the opportunity of filling his old position, and needless to say they enjoyed having him there. They would now sorely miss him. He never paraded his gifts, but was most modest and retiring; while at the organ he sang as well as played, but he was now joining in a sweeter, nobler song, singing his power to save.
To Mr. Ada, war was nothing but a horror, but his purpose was first of all to fight for his Country and King. His parents were members of the Congregation Church, in which in his youthful days he was brought up; but on conviction he joined the Baptist Church at Cambridge, and, returning to Maidenhead continued that membership here. It was painful to think they would see him there no more. He took delight in the service he rendered and could always be relied on to do his duty. He no doubt valued any appreciation of his services, but never sought any special recognition of these; but when the call came to join the naval forces there came the opportunity to the Church to prove in a tangible form their esteem and gratitude by the gift of a small momento of his happy days at the organ and his splendid services so freely rendered. They blessed God also for him as they remembered his straightforward and honest life in business and before the world. This accounted for the widespread interest manifested here since the news of his death came. That he was killed in a naval engagement so heroically carried through was a reason for that interest; but not the only one, nor with most of them the chief reason. The chief reason was the character he had as a Christian man, sincere, strong, pure-minded with no love for mere worldly ends. Like so many who had fallen, he fell doing his duty. He was on a Destroyer rescuing sailors from a companion Destroyer which had been hit by the German batteries, and whilst so occupied was struck by a shell and killed. His ship was saved, and he - with many others - was brought to shore. Many of them were buried at Dover with militsry honours, but the congregation at Maidenhead were glad his mother asked to have her son's body sent home, where honour might be shown even to the dust of one who was so highly esteemed; where others, looking at his gravestone and recalling his useful life, might feel the call to make theirs useful too. Thousands of our young men had fought great trials not alone in the uncongenial atmosphere and surroundings in which they had been placed by the war - so often the moral tone was low, the jokes coarse, the language painful to the Christian heart. Mr Ada suffered from these things very keenly, while his own life and speech bore witness against it. Now this was all past; he would now hear no speech that savoured of sin,but only the speech which told of the honour and glory of the Lamb, the Redeemer, and sweeter music that he made the organ render now greeted his newly-awaken senses. Though we were surrounded with signs of Spring, the noises of battle still sounded, and death was busy, and it seemed unfitting; they felt they would rather keep their sons even out of heaven for a while than that they should be prematurely taken away. But death was part of the price that had to be paid, so that this and other nations might be saved from a worse state than death. Would that the carnage might be speedily ended! The preacher then remninded the congregation of the possible blkessings that might flow from the bitterest cup. The present was indeed a bitter cup for those more closely touched, but if after the extreme bitterness they tasted the blessings they might be made through grace more like their Lord and Master Jesus Christ, more able to fill their lives with larger ministries. To them might be cited the lines of Tennyson, in his "In Memoriam":-
Forgive my grief for one removed
Thy creature whom I find so fair
I trust he lives in Thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.
And in the same poet's words they might say to his betrothed:-
Something it is which thou has lost
Some pleasure from thine early years.
Break, thou deep vase of chilling tears
That grief hath shaken into frost!
And Tennyson's words may be hers:-
My Arthur, whom I shall not see
Till all my widow'd race be run
Dear as the mother to his son
More than my brothers are to me
I hold it true, whate'er befalls,
I feel it, when I sorrow most
Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Sweet and soothing as these words were, the balm which had the greatest power of healing was that from the store of the Great Physician. "He healeth the broken heart abd bindeth up thy wounds." There was comfort, too to be found in service - in helping others; by sharing their sorrow we shared the cruse of comfort held out by the hands of Christ. We must fill up the thinned tanks, and fulfil the daily duties that called on us, working for others and meeting life's responsibilities; it was the Saviour who called, saying "Work whilst it is called day, for the night cometh when no man can work." So should we prepare ourselves for the Master's welcoming words, "Well done, thou faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
took place on Monday afternoon, and was a public tribute to the quiet esteem in which the deceased was held by all classes. Most of the tradesmen's shops had black boards, and blinds were generally drawn. Opposite the Baptist Church, the V.A.D. Red Cross flag was drooping at half mast. A squad of the Maidenhead Volunteers, under Lieut. Voules, formed the guard of honour. The coffin, which was covered with the Union Jack and many lovely wreaths, was carried on the shoulders of half-a-dozen local bluejackets under chief petty officer A. Emberley, viz., petty officer, 1st class, Riches; leading seaman Carter (wounded from East Africa); leading stoker Maybury; and an air mechanic Royal Naval Air Arm, and an A.B. Both the latter were on leave and volunteered to act as bearers. The undertakers were Messrs Partlo Bros., friends of the deceased.
On the rostrum were the Pastor (Rev. T. Wreford Way) and Rev. T.F.Lewis, of the Congregational Church; and among the crowded congregation were the Mayor (Mr C.W.Cox, J.P., C.C.), who also attended at the graveside, and Ald. Truscott, J.P., and Councillor O.T. Chamberlain, J.P. The chief mourners were: Mrs Ada (mother), Mr John E. Ada (brother), Mr F.W.Leach and Mrs Leach (brother-in-law and sister), Mr Richardson (uncle), Miss Ada (sister), Mr S. East (uncle), Mrs Sutton (cousin), Mr W. V. Bloomfield and Mr A.G Bloomfield.
The PASTOR read the usual funeral lesson (1 Cor. xv.), and gave a touching address. He said many of the brave men who had fallen in the late battle had been claimed by their relations to be buried near their homes, and for some, special honours were arranged, as for those buried at Dover: but it was the desire of the late Mr. Ada's friends that the funeral shoiuld be quietly conducted, and those who knew him knew that such would also have been his own desire. War was utterly alien to him as to many besides, but uncomplainingly he filled the place appointed for him. Choosing the Navy, he for some time served in the Mediterranean and since in the Dover Patrol, in which his valuable life was lost. All would have felt a pride in that dangerous engagement off the Belgian coast, but for that Church its glory was dimmed by their loss. Still they knew such sacrifices must be made, and the nation bever needed more than it did that day to steel the heart to the stern call of this hour of great trial. They were burying a sailor, but not a sailor only, but a loved brother, a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he was such intensified the loss, but assuaged their grief. They knew that when he fell into the arms of death he also fell into the arms of Jesus. Living as he had done among some who cared not for the things of God, he did not strike his flag, but sought to live consistently with his profession. They could thank God for hjis example that so "he being dead yet speaketh". To him that afternoon they were saying "Farewell, brother; you have been called to the life immortal far too soon. We want you here, and some of us will say life will be a blank without you; yet your Lord is also theirs, and that is well. Farewell! We know you do fare well, for the word of the Lord cannot be broken. Farewell, till the day break and the shadows flee away! For the day must break for all whose hope is fixed on God; and over this now sorrow-stricken world we yet may discern the rainbow of hope."
The concluding prayer was eloquently framed by the Rev. T.F.Lewis, pastor of the church attended by the family. One passage in this touching prayer was: "We bless Thee for his courage and the willingness of his sacrifice, and for the service he has done that great national cause which we believe Thou Thyself hast given us to uphold - the cause of righteousness and truth and justice." The same minister pronounced the benediction in a solemn manner.
To the strains of the "Dead March," played by Miss Singer (Wesleyan Church) the coffin was bourne out to the funeral car by the naval men, and the solemn procession proceeded to the cemetary amid every sign of sincere mourning and respect from dense crowds of townspeople. Wreaths and other floral tokens of sympathy were sent by the following:- >From his own Jess; mother, brothers and sisters; Mr and Mrs Bloomfield, Rosa and Alfred; Lance-Corpl. Edmund Bloomfield; The Staff at 11, Queen Street; The Marlow Road Baptist Choir and Church; Mrs Eadres, 36, Town Wall Street, Dover; T.W.Naller and R. Coates, HMS Phoebe; from Messmates of HMS Phoebe; from Frank Trevoe; Members of 1st Berks Volunteer Regt,"C" Co., Maidenhead; Maidenhead Fire Brigade; Mr and Mrs H. Andrews and Mrs Goodman; Mr and Mrs. J. W. Goldsmith and Winnie; Mr and Mrs Reeves; Mr and Mrs Harold H Neve; Mr and Mtrs Hunt; Mr and Mrs John Tomlinson, and Frank.
To the Editor.
Sir, - May we take the opportunity afforded by your coutesy and in your pages of expressing our sincere thanks for the messages of sympathy received and the flowers that were sent.