Francis Henry Draper Freeman – ‘The Organ Blower’
The following was the report of his death in the local paper:
“On Tuesday January 24 1882 there passed away from among us one whose services though of the humblest, were so faithfully and heartily rendered that they would seem to deserve a recall in our columns.
Francis Henry Draper Freeman, for more than 15 years organ blower to Holy Trinity Church, was well known as a most enthusiastic lover of music in his way. He was rarely absent from any organ opening or recital, and his criticisms on music and musicians generally, were often as shrewd as they were uncompromising .The pride he took in the organ and choir of Holy Trinity, and his devotion to Mr Diemer was very remarkable, while to his ‘pupils’ on the organ as he called them, he performed his duties most faithfully and took a liveliest interest in their progress.
He was put into his grave last Saturday, when the Rev G.A. Willan performed the ceremonies. Several of the Trinity Church Choir were present and flowers were thrown on the coffin. Last Sunday Mr Willan made a very feeling allusion to Henry after the morning sermon, and after the service the poor fellow’s favourite hymns were sung. In the evening Mr Diemer played the dirge from ‘Bethany’ before the service and ‘The dead march in Saul’ afterwards.
One of the hymns being ‘Brother thou hast gone before us’ also from ‘Bethany’. To use Mr Diemer’s words ‘ A more devoted blower than poor Henry never existed.”
It is now very difficult to read the engraving on the stone which is of a very fine shape. It does however recall that Henry was organ blower to the church for 15 years and died at the young age of 34.
The stone was paid for by the choir and organist, which explains who Mr Diemer was. The grave is situated in the higher area of the cemetery, not far from The Wyatt enclosure.
Grave Ref: H11.198
August 04, 2021