Funeral of Edwin Steer, Water Bailiff of Bovey Tracey, Devon

Reported in the

Mid-Devon Advertiser, 26 February 1927

Contributed by Michael Steer (Grandson)

Provided here by permission of Devon & Cornwall Newspapers Ltd.

Edwin STEER died at his home in Abbey Road, Bovey Tracey on 15 February 1927, aged 74. He had maintained an active life almost to the end. His widow, Linna (SELLER) and a grown-up family were left to mourn him. John Parnell in Vernica Kennedy's The Bovey Book, wrote "The long-term servant of his local community was widely missed, and Edwin was fittingly given full fire brigade honours at his funeral". (p. 194). The following report of those who attended his funeral was transcribed from a newspaper clipping in his grandson's possession.



The interment took place at the Bovey Tracey Cemetery on Saturday, with full Fire Service honours, of Mr Edwin Steer, of "The Retreat", Abbey Road, Bovey Tracey, whose death was reported in our last issue. The scene was a most impressive one, and Chief Officer L.S. Mardon of the local Brigade had charge of the arrangements. Firemen acted as bearers, while the local motor fire engine was used to convey the floral tributes. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack and members of the Bovey Fire Brigade sent a lovely floral tribute in the shape of a helmet, the flowers used being red tulips.

The service was held at the Baptist Church, the Rev. Hodgson officiating. The hymns sung were "Abide with me" and "Lead kindly light". The chief mourners were Messrs L. Steer, R. Steer, C. Steer and A.P. Steer (sons), Miss S. Steer, Mrs. A.J. Coombes (daughters). Mrs. R. Steer (daughter-in-law), Mr. R. Coombes (grandson), Mr. W. Steer (uncle), Mr. F. Harris (nephew), Mrs R. Carpenter, Mrs B. Black, Mrs J. Rogers, Mrs W. Heale and Mrs C. Prowse (nieces). Mr J.C. Steer (cousin), Mr W. Seller (brother-in-law), Mr J. Webber (brother-in-law)Mrs W. Wills (cousin), Mr. W. Steer jnr. (cousin) Miss Steer (cousin), Mr and Mrs H. Davie (cousins). The widow was unable to attend. Others present were Mesdames A Wills, Slee, L. Dolton, W. Payne, R. Wills, T. Newbery, W. Mann, T. Tolley, J. Lavis, J. Partridge, P. Wyatt, Lamacraft, Pook, W. Rumbelow, Misses Pook, Gilley, W. Snow, Short, H. Hydon and Applegate, Mr G. Mardon, chairman, Capt. J. Curtis and Mr M. Daymond, clerk (representing the Bovey Parish Council), Messrs A. Gray, Sanitary Inspector and S. Olver, Surveyor (representing the Newton Rural Council), S. Heath, H.J.N. Heath, J.L. Black, chairman, W.J. Sharpe, J. Bowen, R. Cornish, A. Cann, J. Setters, S. Dear, W.F. Welsford, (secretary representing Branch 85 of the Rational Friend Society), W. Aggett, W. Hamlin, G. Tucker, Slee, L. Dolton, E. Sampson, W. Gale, A. Wyatt, F. Wyatt, T. Wyatt, H.S. Abbot, G. Coniam, A. Pascoe, W. Clarke and J. Husband.

The coffin bore the inscription: "Edwin Steer, died February 15th, 1927, aged 74 years".

The wreaths were as follows:- From his sorrowing wife and children: Brother-in-law Sid and family, Bristol; Uncle Walter and family, Annie and Frank, Vera and Dorothy; Jack, May and Carrie; Bovey Tracey Fire Brigade; Ethel and Evelyn; Newton Abbot Fire Brigade; Nell, Will and family; Brethren of Bovey R.A.O.B.; Mrs G. Short, Bovey Tracey Parish Council; Mr and Mrs Martin; Mr and Mrs Rice; B. Applegate; Miss Tracey; Miss Gerred and Miss Glanfield; Lucie and Eddie, Newton; Mr and Mrs W.H. Heath; Mr and Mrs C.H. Gaved and Mr J. Gaved; Mr and Mrs R.P. Barrow; Mr and Mrs H. Clasing; Capt. and Mrs A.C. Curtis; H.A. Davie: Mr and Mrs Godsland and family; Mr and Mrs Bidgood; Miss North; Mr and Mrs G. Lamble, Heathfield; and Mr and Mrs C. Prowse and family.

The Firemen were under Chief Officer L.S. Mardon and the following acted as bearers; Second Officer Coombes (deceased's son-in-law); Fireman W. Beer, W. Harris, G. Heale, A. Blackmore, A. Godsland, S. Boon, A. Jeffery and W. Heale. The other Brigades represented were Paignton, Buckfastleigh, Ashburton and Newton Abbot. The motor fire engine with the wreaths was driven by Engineer A.E. Collins.