100 years ago: Harold ‘Curley’ McAfee died
Posted by Amanda Hill under 1910s
, war dead
, World War I
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On this day in 1917, Harold McAfee died of pneumonia at Queen Mary’s Royal Naval Hospital in Southend, Essex, England. The hospital was a wartime conversion of the Palace Hotel building in Southend.
The Palace Hotel in Southend, from Flickr user Jim Linwood
McAfee was buried in the Sutton Road Cemetery in Southend.
Harold McAfee’s gravestone, from the Find A Grave site
The Chaplain of the York Road Wesleyan Methodist Church in Southend wrote a letter to Mrs McAfee, a copy of which was donated to the Deseronto Archives:
March 16th, 1917
Dear Mrs. McAfee:-
I have this morning officiated at the interment of your son Harold, who as you will have been informed passed away on Sunday last at Queen Mary’s Hospital here. he was interred as a Methodist and hence I was able to see him in the Hospital and asked to conduct his funeral. I had a chat with him some two weeks ago, when he spoke to me of home and you. At that time his illness was not regarded as serious. The Anglican Chaplain who lives close to the hospital was called in on Sunday and I believe will be writing to you direct. But I understand that Harold received the Lord’s supper on Sunday, gratefully and humbly; and that he died trusting in his Saviour. All of us who are connected with the hospital feel very deeply for you and the rest of his family. One young Canadian soldier who told me he was Harold’s nephew and was present at the grave-side. From him you will also probably hear. All that could be done, was done for him, the hospital is a lovely place, and the nursing staff, kindness itself. The funeral was a military one, the body being carried on a gun carriage with the old flag over it, and a lovely wreath from the hospital. A body of troops followed and the salute was fired over the grave; and the last post sounded by the buglers. With deep sympathy believe me
Yours very sincerely
Arthur S. Lyne
Wesleyan Methodist Chaplain
He is also remembered on the Deseronto war memorial.
And on the cenotaph in Napanee.