Eulogies at Clive's Wake

It was Clive Hutton's funeral in Oxford today. Clive was Len's older brother.

A very early start, leaving Basil at Joy's and picking up George and Kat on the way.

A very straightforward service at Barton Crem, totally in the spirit of Clive's life. He was, as his eldest son Wayne described him, a do-er, not a talker.

Wayne rode pillion on the motorbike and sidecar that brought Clive's coffin to the door of the chapel. Clive had been an ardent biker.

Elvis' 'Love Me Tender' was the entry music, and 'Show Me The Way To Amarillo' the closing number. Clive had had fond memories of listening to that track with his grandchildren.

Wayne gave a brief eulogy followed by the minister. He and his daughter Katie had helped carry the coffin in.

Then we all retired to The Three Horseshoes in Garsington for a buffet lunch and the eulogies. Len read out one from Clive's second son Clifford, who had felt too upset to say anything at the service, and one from Len and Clive's older brother John, winding up with recollections from Clive's old schoolfellow Maurice, who was speaking while I took this photo.

To give you a measure of the kind of man Clive was, Len told a story of how when he was 12 and Clive 15, they had set off on a hired raft at Southsea beyond the breakers. Len spotted a boy bobbing up and down. He wasn't crying out, but it seemed obvious he was in trouble. Clive didn't hesitate. He jumped in the water and recovered the boy bringing him back to the raft.

Len and Clive rowed back to the beach and asked the boy where his parents were. The lad wasn't sure at first, but then remembered they were over by the sea wall. They took the boy back to the couple and described how they'd found their son in difficulties beyond the breakers. The Dad, immensely grateful, gave Clive and Len 'five bob.'

Then it was time to return the hired raft. 'You're ten minutes over your time,' said the gaffer. So they told their story. 'I'll let you off this time,' said the man.

And that was Clive. Totally matter of fact. An unrecognised hero.

Sign in or get an account to comment.