06 February 2008

Doc Freeman's Memorial Service

Doc Freeman's memorial service

[I'm indebted to Ms Carol Liston of the Winchester Local Studies Library for providing me with copies of the Hampshire Chronicle's obituary of Doc, a brief report of tributes paid at the City Magistrates Court, and a report of his memorial service, from the library's microfilm archive of back issues of the newspaper. I've transcribed the articles by hand. _ Chris Cooper.]



The Late Dr. P. T. Freeman


The memorial service to Dr. P.T. Freeman, Headmaster of Peter Symonds' School, Winchester, which was held at Winchester Cathedral on Wednesday at noon, drew an attendance of mourners of quite unusual proportions and representative in the widest possible ways of life and activities in Hampshire. A congregation of over 900 scholars, ex-scholars and associates in public and social life of the late Doctor thronged the great Nave to take part in a quite simple service in memory of one whose contribution to the community in this area during the past 30 years or so was obviously tremendous.

The service itself began after the preliminary sentences by the saying of the 121st Psalm. The Lesson, from the Revelation of St. John, was read by the Rev. J. H. P. Still, Chaplain to Dr. Freeman's own Lodge of Freemasons, Economy (No. 76). Bunyan's hymn, "He who would valiant be," was followed by prayers, said by the Sacrist (the Rev. E. Bannister), very appropriately, when one remembered Dr. Freeman's life. Arthur Hugh Clough's "Say not, the struggle naught availeth" was sung, and further prayers and the Blessing by Bishop Leslie Lang brought the quite short ceremony to a close.

Other robed clergy present were Canon F. R. Money, Canon R. B. Lloyd and Canon G. Uppington. At the organ Mr Isidore Harvey played two Bach Chorales before the service -- "Sheep may safely graze" and "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" -- and at the conclusion the First Movement from Rheinberger's Sonata in A Minor.

The family mourners were Mrs. Freeman (widow), Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Freeman (son and daughter-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. A. Barron Renton (son-in-law and daughter) and Mr. W. C. Cavill.

Civic representatives included the Mayor of Winchester (Councillor Paul Woodhouse), the Mayor and Mayoress of Romsey (Councillor and Mrs. H. G. Mackrell, also representing Mr. K. V. Mackrell and Mr. A. G. Mackrell), and the Deputy Mayor of Winchester (Councillor Mrs. F. S. Thackeray).

The County Education Authority was represented by Ald. A. H. Quilley (Chairman of the Education Committee), Mr. J. W. Parr (Vice-Chairman), and Mr. W. Coates (County Education Officer). Mr. F. L. Freeman represented the Southampton Borough Education Committee.

Mr. Parr also represented Sir George Gater (Chairman of the Governing Body of Peter Symonds' School and Warden of Winchester College).

Mrs. W. Coates (Deputy Chairman) and Mr. W. Moss (Clerk to the Justices) represented the Winchester City Bench, and there was a large attendance of Magistrates and members of the legal profession.

Dr. Freeman's great interest in Freemasonry was reflected in the large number of Masons present and Lodges represented. Dr. Wilfrid Attenborough (Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master), Mr. F. O. Goodman (Deputy Provincial Grand Master), Mr. C. J. H. Jones (Provincial Grand Secretary) and Mr. A. E. Madgwick (Provincial Grand Treasurer) represented the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Province; and there were also present many members of Dr. Freeman's own Lodges, Economy (No. 76), Old Symondians (No. 5734), Twelve Brothers, Southampton (No. 785), and Royal Gloucester, Southampton (No. 130).

Among others represented were Winchester Mark Lodge, William of Wykeham Lodge, Richard Taunton Lodge, Basing Lodge, Lodge of Concord, Lodge of Peace and Harmony, University Lodge, Southampton, Hampshire Lodge of Emulation, Winton Rose Croix, Wessex Lodge, United Brothers Lodge, and Beech Lodge.

Official representatives of the Old Symondians' Association were: Mr. E. G. Vokes (Chairman), Mr W. R. Cox (Vice-Chairman), Mr C. A. Bath (Hon. Assistant Secretary), and Mr. A.J. Harding (Hon. Treasurer), the latter also attending as Chairman of the Winchester Operatic Society, of which the late Dr. Freeman was a Vice-President. Mrs R. G. Croft represented Mr. Reg . Croft (Hon. Secretary of the O.S.A), who was unable to attend owing to family illness. The Old Tauntonians and Old Edwardians' Associations were also represented, and many pupils and members of the staff of Peter Symonds' School also attended.

Among the many schools represented were Andover Grammar School, Taunton's School, Southampton, King Edward VI. School, Southampton, Eggars Grammar School, Alton, Price's School, Fareham, Eastleigh County High School, Queen Mary's School, Basingstoke, Winchester County High School for Girls, Brockenhurst County Grammar School, North End Secondary School, Eastleigh, Winchester County Secondary School for Boys, Winchester School of Art, St. Faith's School, Winchester, Purbrook Park School, and Nethercliffe School, Winchester.

Other bodies represented included Winchester Rotary Club, Winchester Inner Wheel Club, Winchester Round Table, the Royal Winchester Golf Club, the Headmasters' Conference, the Hampshire Constabulary, the N.S.P.C.C., Winchester City Football Club, the Winchester Group Hospital Management Committee, the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, the League of Friends of the Winchester Hospitals, Winchester Chamber of Commerce, the Missions to Seamen, the Hartley Society, Southampton University, the Diocesan Education Committee, and King Alfred's College, Winchester.

Among those present were:--

[There follows an extremely long list of mourners. Anyone wishing to check whether any particular names are on there should contact me, Chris Cooper.]

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Cathedral Tribute

Canon F. R. Money, before his sermon at Matins at Winchester Cathedral on Sunday, made reference to the late Dr. Freeman in the following terms: --

To-day we remember before God the late Dr. P. T. Freeman, an eminent citizen, a notable schoolmaster and an unassuming good man. We thank God for his long years of fine and varied service to this city and county. His loyal and enthusiastic attachment to Peter Symonds' School as Headmaster lasted for 30 years. The quality of this Public School, which is widely appreciated, is due to the first two Headmasters, the Rev. Telford Varley and Dr. P. T. Freeman, whose statesmanship and zeal for well nigh 60 years earned the loyalty of the teaching staff and Old Symondians.

The life of a teacher is arduous and busy, and only occasional glimpses of his influence come as a reminder of the gratitude, which so many owe to him. Such a glimpse came to me when a mother said: "I have never forgotten what Dr. Freeman said when my boy died; and his simple words have always been an encouragement to me. The words were: 'Your boy was an Old Symondian and still is.'" In that "sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life" we commend the soul of Percy Tom Freeman to the mercy of God.


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