Funeral of a Volunteer

Western Australian Times
9th November 1877

FUNERAL OF A VOLUNTEER. Our Fremantle correspondent writes us as follows:

The funeral of the late Mr. John Beatty, formerly of the Royal Engineers took place on last Tuesday. Besides being attended by a large number of private friends, the Volunteers turned out to pay their last respect. Of these there were about 100 who mustered at the armoury, and being marched to the deceased’s late residence were there formed up on each side of the street. About 4 pm the procession moved off. The Volunteer band playing the ” Dead March” in Saul took the lead, followed by the firing party, with arms reversed; then came the coffin, after which, the personal friends of the deceased; then three file of Enrolled pensioners in uniform, the Volunteer force following in the rear. On arrival at the cemetery the firing party took open order, and facing inwards presented arms as the coffin passed between them; they then rested on their arms reversed until the procession passed. The firing party was afterwards marched to the grave, and the burial service having concluded, they performed the usual military honours, and having fired three rounds each over the grave the party was ordered to “fix bayonets” and retire. On returning to the armoury Lieut. Humble*, the commanding officer, expressed himself pleased to see so many Volunteers turn out to pay respect to their departed comrade.  It was, he said, the first death that had occurred in this company since its formation, now over five years, and he hoped it would “be much longer before another happened”. It was then moved and seconded “That in the opinion of the company it is desirable that a fund should be formed to pay the funeral expenses of volunteers.” This being put to the company was carried unanimously. A subscription list has since been started, and the sums collected have varied from one to ten shillings each volunteer. Mr. Beatty was a very useful man in the town and will be very much missed by the poorer classes by whom he was greatly respected.

*Lieutenant George Bland Humble, Fremantle Rifle Volunteers from 7th October 1872 to 23rd April 1889.