Aldborough Hatch scout leader’s gravestone needs repairing, church says
PUBLISHED: 19:00 12 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:02 13 February 2015
The gravestone of a scout leader loved by many is in “a state of disrepair” and is “sinking into the ground”.
Now members of St Peter’s Church, in Aldborough Hatch – where Archie Titmarsh was a lay reader – are calling for his former scouts to donate money to restore the grave.
Ron Jeffries, editor of the church magazine, met Mr Titmarsh, or “Mr T” as he was affectionately known, when he joined the choir aged 11 in 1944.
Mr Jeffries said: “He was someone who encouraged you to do things you did not think you could possibly do.
“He was an inspiration and a father figure to a lot of people.”
Mr Titmarsh’s greatest achievement, said Mr Jeffries, is the 1st Aldborough Hatch Scout Group, which he helped found.
“It is said some of the choir boys were called together by Mr T and asked them if they wished to join the Boys’ Brigade or the scouts,” he added. “They opted for the scouts.”
When Mr Titmarsh, a civil servant, died in 1986 St Peter’s Church purchased the flag staff and flags which now stand at the church, a brass plaque in his memory, a wooden seat inscribed with the words “Suffer the little children to come unto me”, a passage from St Luke.
Mr Titmarsh, a confirmed batchelor, had no immediate family to make arrangements for his burial in the 1980s when he passed away.
Badges were also bought with the crossed keys of St Peter’s which are worn to this day on the scarves of the 1st Aldborough Hatch Scout Group.
Rev Kate Lovesey, the priest-in-charge at St Peter’s, said it would cost around £300 to put the gravestone back and a further £122 to clean the stone and repair the lettering.
Mr Jeffries added the church had already received “a couple of hundred pounds” in donations.
“If we get more money something will be done for the benefit of young children in Aldborough Hatch,” he added.
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