This is an abridged version of the order of service for today's funeral.


Henry W Allingham

Entered: June Sixth of Eighteen Ninety Six

Departed: July Eighteenth of Two Thousand Nine

The Parish Church of St Nicholas' of Myra, Brighton

30th July 2009 at Noon

11.45: The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Brighton & Hove, are welcomed to the church by The Reverend Robert Chavner, Vicar of Brighton, St Nicholas of Myra.

11.50: Arrival of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, Patron of the World War One Veterans' Association.

A quarter peal of Grandsire Caters will be rung, half muffled, by local bell ringers and Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Guild of Ringers.

The coffin will be borne by a joint Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Bearer party.

Henry Allingham's medals and decorations are borne by his great grandsons, Petty Officer 2nd Class Brent Gray, United States Navy, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Gray, United States Navy.

The Sentences will be read by Fr Robert Chavner as the coffin, accompanied by the Medal Bearer, immediate family and representative organisations, moves from the hearse into Church.



Introduction and Welcome


FIRST READING: 1 Corinthians 15. 20-26, 35-38, 42-44, read by Robert Leader, Chief Executive of St Dunstan's


SECOND READING: 'Distant Fields', Poem, read by Amy Carlson, Henry's great granddaughter Attributed to Lieutenant Commander John Scivier Royal Navy

TRIBUTE: David Gray, Henry's grandson, Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns KCB CBE, Air-Vice Marshal Peter J Dye OBE

ADDRESS: The Reverend Martin Morgan, Chaplain St Dunstan's


THE PRAYERS: Led by Fr Robert Chavner, Nathaniel Gray, great grandson, Dennis Goodwin, chairman of World War I Veterans' Association and close friend.

The Vicar continues.


THE COMMENDATION AND THE COMMITTAL: The bearers prepare to leave the church whilst the choir sings the hymn Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty.

THE NUNC DIMITTIS: The Vicar leads the congregation in the saying of the Nunc Dimittis.

In the churchyard, on the path, the procession will stop.

:: The bugler sounds the Last Post.

:: There will be one minute's silence followed by Reveille.

:: The bell will toll (113) times.

Immediately after the service, the Vicar will accompany Henry's coffin to the Crematorium.

Henry's family would like to offer their sincere thanks for all loving thoughts, cards and kind messages of sympathy received during their sad loss.

Donations given in Henry's memory for the Dark Horse Venture or St Dunstan's should be sent to Attree and Kent Funeral Directors, 2 Hollingbury Place, Brighton. BN1 7GE.

In Henry's Own Words: "A new interest was sparked one Sunday afternoon when I was riding my pedal bike in the countryside near Chingford, Essex, near a reservoir.

"I heard a droning noise and looked up to see a plane circling the aerodrome. It was a captivating sight. Fascinated, I sat down on the grass verge to watch the aircraft.

"I decided that was for me so I vowed to apply to join the Royal Naval Air Service."

"Crash landings were common. Once I was returning from a patrol with pilot Major Ebert Cadbury. Everything looked all right as we were coming down but as we touched the ground the nose dipped. We lost half the undercarriage and the plane ended up half buried in the ground.

"Major Cadbury and I scrambled out quickly. I heard a torrent of expletives from the Major that I'd never heard before or since."

"I have always said that it was the men in the trenches that suffered; it was the men in the trenches who in my view won the war. So I don't think I deserve all this attention. Other men did so much more than me.

"We owe them so much - they sacrificed their future so that we all might have one, I firmly believe that.

"With me I carried a Bible given to me by Dorothy; it was a translation of the Old and New Testaments. On the flyleaf she wrote: "May the Lord watch between thee and me while we are absent from one another."

"The inscription was dated 19 September 1917. She placed pressed flowers between the pages, which, like me, have survived these 90 years.

"People ask me, what's the secret of a long life? I don't know.

"People ask me how I've done it and I just say that I look forward to another tomorrow."