Friends of Hastings Cemetery
Maurice Sarsfield Walsh continued
born out of wedlock unless Maurice had an earlier marriage but I have found no evidence of this. A son, Percy Thomas was born in 1881 but does not appear on the 1891 census.
In 1901 the family are still living at 4 St Helen’s Terrace but only Percy aged 19, Mary Cecily aged 22, and Cyril Maurice aged 14, are at home. Maurice is shown as a newspaper editor and Justice of the Peace. The family have one servant.
Maurice was a tremendous reader, omnivorous in his literary tastes, devouring everything from learned and historical treatises to the latest novels. A staunch Roman Catholic and Conservative he was however, very tolerant of others views and beliefs. He was seen as a versatile journalist with a comprehensive grasp of local problems. A keen fighter for what he believed in, he is also described as having a genial and kindly nature, ever ready to do anyone a good turn if it were in his power.
Respected by his opponents he was an erudite speaker and a champion for not only The Observer but also for the town of Hastings promoting it at every opportunity. As a magistrate he was remarkable for his conscientiousness and was ever in favour of tempering justice with mercy.
In 1893 he was the recipient of a testimonial, the source of which was the Conservative Party, however, so many townspeople wanted to contribute that the basis was broadened and the subscribers
included citizens of all religious and political persuasions. At a largely attended meeting on 27th April 1893, the Mayor Mr A J Croucher JP, presented Maurice with a magnificent illuminated address, an album containing the names of subscribers and a cheque for over £300.
Maurice Walsh was obviously a highly respected man. The inscription on his grave reads
In loving memory of Maurice Walsh JP
Died 19th August 1902 aged 58 years.
Pray for him
He died following a bout of influenza and related heart and other problems. His funeral on Saturday 23rd August was attended by Maurice’s wife Marion, sons Percy, Alexander and Cyril and daughter Edith, also by the Deputy Mayor, the Town Clerk, numerous journalists and editors, JP’s, councillors, aldermen and worthies of the town.
The funeral mass was held at St Mary Star of the Sea, the coffin being covered in white wreaths and being carried to the church in an open glass car and after a service lasting an hour, to the cemetery where the Chief Constable joined the mourners. The funeral arranger was Herbert Burton of Queens Road, Hastings and the carriages were supplied by Skinners & Co of St Leonards on Sea.