London, Joseph (abt1852-1903)

Transcription of Obituary In the Christian Messenger

MR, JOS. LONDON, OF BERKHAMSTED.— We have lost a valued official and earnest worker in the death of Mr. Jos. London, of Berkhamsted. His death was unexpected, and came as a surprise and shock to the town. He had been to the services of the Sunday School and church, May 3rd. On Monday he was doing his work as gardener; on Tuesday, about 6 p.m., he died, leaving a wife and three children to mourn his death. On Saturday, May 9th, the day of his funeral, we had a remarkable display of public sympathy and respect. The service was held in the Baptist Church, conducted by the Rev. J.W. Normandale, and assisted by the Revs. W. Wardle, F. Shergold, A. Sutcliffe, and W. Dorey. The ministers of the town – Revs. F.C. Hughes, A. Clegg, and R.G. Lawn, B.A. – attended, with many members of the Free Church Council, of which Mr. ]os. London was president at the time of his death. Hundreds of persons came to the service, and never before had such a scene been witnessed in the town. It is estimated that a thousand persons surrounded the grave. References were made in the cemetery to his death, and in the pulpits of the town the following day. On Sunday, May 17th, the memorial service was conducted by Mr. J.W. Delahaye, of London, when a large audience filled the chapel. Mr. London had been a member about 40 years; a preacher 30; Sunday School Super 12; and for some time he filled the office of Circuit Steward. He was an acceptable preacher, an earnest worker, a liberal supporter, and greatly beloved. Many letters of sympathy were sent to the widow, most of them speaking in the best terms of his Christian character and service. We miss him greatly in the church and school. He was always bright; with cheery words and happy smile he helped to spread sunshine. We purpose to place a memorial tablet in the church where he did such good service. We pray the Lord of the Harvest to thrust out many more labourers to carry on and extend the work of the church so dear to the heart of our brother departed.

Rev. W. Wardle says :—
“ We shall miss him at morn, we shall miss him at eve
0 yes; he is gone, though it’s hard to believe
We shall see him no more, till the mists clear away,
And night has been lost in one beautiful day.”

J. W. N.

Family and other information

Joseph was born abt1852 at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, to parents William and Emma. Wiiliam worked the land.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Joseph.

  • 1871 ploughman
  • 1881 groom
  • 1891 groom
  • 1901 domestic gardener

Joseph married Martha Gudgin (1857-1933) in early 1880 at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • Mary (abt1881-1967) – married George Cooper, a domestic gardener, in 1909
  • Percy (abt1884-1966) – a compositor (1911)
  • Arthur (b1891) – a stationer’s clerk (1911)

Joseph died on 4 May 1903 at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.

References

Christian Messenger 1904/159

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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