Naval Funeral at Wicklow. 1903
On Thursday afternoon the remains of Mr. Wm. Henry Darte, Chief Boatman in charge of Ballinacarrig Coastguard Station, were interred in Three-Mile-Water Cemetary with naval honours. Mr. Darte had been in failing health since his appointment to Ballinacarrig, having contracted a severe cold while on a manoeuvring cruise. Dr. Halpin had been in frequent attendance on him, and did everything that medical could devise to pull him through, but the end came on Monday evening. Deceased was extremely liked by the men in his charge, and was well known along the coast. His demise is very much regretted, particularly as he leaves a widow and nine small children. Deceased who was a native of Devonshire, was 46 years of are, and had served 30 years in the Navy.
The funeral, notwithstanding the thin population of the district, was largely attended. A firing party under the command of Mr. Fleming, Chief Officer, Arklow, was in attendance, and comprised five from Wicklow, four from Arklow, three from Five-Mile-Point, four from Ballinacarrig, and two from Mizen Head. The remains which were encased in a handsome coffin, were removed from the station shortly after three o’clock, the ensign having been lowered a minute or so previously. The firing party had been drawn up beside the hearse, and as the coffin was raised on the shoulders of the six pall bearers the order “Present arms” was given. After the coffin which was covered with the Union Jack and a number of beautiful floral wreaths from the children of the different stations, had bee placed in the hearse, the order “reverse arms” was given. The procession then started for the cemetery which lies about a mile distant from the station, on the road to Wicklow, and in a picturesque little spot on the banks of the Three-Mile-Water river, and quite adjacent to the sea.
The firing party marched slowly in front of the hearse, and though rather small, the spectacle was an imposing one. Reaching the cemetery a halt was made, and the firing party formed two lines facing each other, with the arms at the “present” while the hearse passed between the lines. The coffin was then borne from the hearse by the six mourners to the last resting place. When the burial service, which was conducted by Rev. Mr. Buckley had concluded the coffin was lowered into the grave. The order being given, three volleys were fired by the firing party, and the closing of the grave commenced. In a few minutes time all that was mortal was wrapped up in mother earth, and the bystanders having breathed a prayer as the last sod was placed on the grave, they departed from the melancholic scene.
The following Coastguards attended :-