Somerset County Herald 26 Aug 1939 Middle Lambrook Death of the Rev Hampden Garibaldi CLASSEY

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Somerset County Herald and Taunton Courier. Saturday 26 Aug 1939

Page 14 Column 3




The death occurred on Saturday of the Rev. Hampden Garibaldi CLASSEY, for the past two years minister of the Middle Lambrook Congregational Meeting. He was in his 79th year, and had been in failing health for some time. Handicapped by blindness latterly, he carried on bravely with his work until about Easter this year. In his long ministry he had served in churches in Devon, Wiltshire, and Somerset.

Born at Wells, Somerset, he entered the ministry when in his early 'twenties. His first ministerial appointment was at Cheriton, and after a short stay there he went to Plymtree, where he stayed for about 35 years. For eight years he ministered at Uffculme, before going to Wilton, near Salisbury, in 1930. He left Wilton two years ago to take his appointment in Somerset.

Mr. CLASSEY was a staunch Free churchman, and served for many ears in the capacity of secretary of the Free Church Council in Devonshire. He was a member of the Executive of the National Free Church Council. He was also at one time chairman of the East Devon Congregational Union. A preacher of the evangelical school, he organised a mission in the villages with most successful results. His life was characterised by devotion and service, and he never counted his work finished.


One of his favourite hobbies was fine basket-making, and when advancing in years he spent many happy hours at home in this work, the proceeds of which he devoted to the needs of the church. In the various places in which he held appointments he always left his mark by accomplishing some improvement in church property. At Uffculme he raised the money and had a minister's vestry built as a memorial to his first wife, whilst at Wilton the church and organ were renovated during his stay as well as electric lighting being installed. In spite of the expense incurred, he was able to leave Wilton with the church accounts showing a credit balance.

Missionary work also had his whole-hearted support, and he was responsible for raising a considerable sum of money in this connection. In one scheme, by gathering primroses for sale, he and Mrs. CLASSEY succeeded in earning a total of £10 for missionary funds.

Mr. CLASSEY lost his first wife in 1925, and married a second time nine years ago. He is survived by his widow, three sons (one in Canada) and three daughters (one in France).





The body was brought into the Middle Lambrook Church on Wednesday, and rested there throughout the night. The church was filled in the afternoon for the simple choral service, conducted by the Rev. G. H. King CHICK, of Yeovil, a lifelong friend of Mr. CLASSEY. Mrs. W. H. HEBDITCH played the organ, and the hymns sung were “Thine For Ever. God of Love” and “For all the Saints.”

In a short address the Rev. G. H. K. CHICK said that those in Middle Lambrook who were privileged to share the closing years of a beloved minister in that quiet place could have only a small conception of his life and how great a work he did. He had known and watched Mr. CLASSEY's wonderful ministry for 35 yeas at Plymtree. His life and influence were woven into the very texture of that place. Not only was he a true pastor to his own people, but he gave to the district of Devon in which he lived the benefit of his experience, and his work was appreciated by the whole country, so that he was called to be Chairman of the Devon Congregational Union. His life was devoted to the service of God in his fellow-men and, because he gave of his best to his churches, his memory would always be remembered with gratitude and pride.

Following the service, the interment took place at South Petherton Cemetery.


Immediate mourners were:- Mrs. CLASSEY (widow), Mr. Harold CLASSEY, Teddington (son), and Mr. John CLASSEY, Twickenham (grandson), Mrs. GIGG, Wembley (daughter), Miss Anne CLASSEY, Westbury, Somerset (sister), Mr. and Mrs. John CLASSEY, Westbury (brother and sister-in-law), Mr. W. C. MARCH, Wincanton, and Mr. T. A. JONES, Bruton (cousins).

Others who attended included Mr. W. H. HEBDITCH (secretary and senior deacon of Middle Lambrook Congregational Church), the Rev. J. BERESFORD and Mr. G. SANDERS Plymtree), the Rev. F. B. TAYLOR, Mr. Eric H. COOK, Mr. JUKES, Mrs. Hugh MOORE, Mr. Anthony MOORE and Mrs. STOKES (representing Wilton Congregational Church), Dr. EDELSTEN (South Petherton). Mr. and Mrs. S. DARBY and Mr. F. R. DARBY (Puckington), Nurse WALLBUTTON, Mrs. William LAKE (Cheriton Fitzpaine), Mrs. PAULL and Miss COLE (Cullompton), Mr. and Mrs. and Miss CLIGG (Broadclyst), Miss Ruth HEBDITCH, Mr. and Mrs. L. JACOBS, Mr. H. DARBY (Bishop's Lydeard), Mr. P. COOPER, Mr. A. M. DARBY (Burrow Hill), Mr. T. PRIDDLE, Mrs. STUCKEY, Mrs. HARRIS, Miss K. STUCKEY, Mr. F. RUSS, Mrs. H. STUCKEY, Mr. W. DURANT, Mr. W. ELLIOTT, Miss MALE, Mrs. BARRETT, Mrs. DUCK, Mrs. PRIDDLE, Mrs. W. ELLIOTT, Mrs. G. ELLIOTT, Mr. BATSTONE, Mrs. PITTARD, Mrs. STEVENS, Mrs. HUNT, Mrs. CALLER, Mrs. DABINETT, Mr. W. B. HEBDITCH (South Petherton), Mr. Arthur CHAMINGS, Mr. J. NAPPER, Mrs. HILLARD and Mrs. CALLER.

The bearers were Messrs. F. CALLER, C. RUSS, C. STUCKEY and G. ELLIOTT, all members of the Middle Lambrook Chapel.

The numerous floral tributes included wreathes from the Church and congregation of Middle Lambrook; The Middle Lambrook Sunshine Hour; Members and friends of Wilton Congregational Church; and members and friends of Plymtree Congregational Church.

A memorial service at Wilton Congregational Church was conducted by the Rev. E. S. PENNY.


Mrs. CLASSEY and the family of the late Rev. H. G. CLASSEY wish to thank their many friends for kind letters and expressions of sympathy and for many acts of loving friendship during his last illness and also for the beautiful flowers.

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