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DAVID GRAY
Thursday 12 December 2013

At 10.30am on Thursday 12 December 2013 the hearse carrying David on his final journey drove out through the gates of Hattons, the family home in West Wittering, followed closely by a limousine carrying Jackie, his wife of over fifty one years, and other members of their close family.

Dropping in behind the limousine came 'Poppy', the 1929 20hp HJM saloon, driven by Dean Ash accompanied by Colette (who had left home in Burwash, East Sussex at 6am, loaded 'Poppy' onto a trailer and driven all the way to West Wittering so that 'Poppy' could accompany David in the cortege). Next came 'Primrose', a 1937 20/25 Gurney Nutting Sedanca de Ville, driven by Mark Taylor (who looked after all David's motor cars) accompanied by Sarah and also Geoff & Jenny Allo (who had flown over from Jersey that morning especially). Next came the third Rolls-Royce that David owned, 'Petunia', a 1955 Silver Dawn driven by Ted Meachem (Section Secretary) accompanied by Kate. Next in line was ‘Angela’ a 1931 20/25 Rippon Limousine owned and driven by Chris Tween (the new Chairman) accompanied by Rosemary. Last, but not least, Tony Leach (Treasurer) in his Bentley Arnage R brought up the rear.

This majestic line of motor cars made its way to Chichester Crematorium aptly passing along the Birdham Straight. David would have liked that!

On arrival at the Crematorium the motor cars were lined up outside the doors of the chapel, a fitting tribute to David and his love of the motor car (and boats and planes apparently!). There followed a private service for the family and invited guests.

2pm at Chichester Cathedral

Hundreds of people gathered in this vast space to remember and celebrate the life of one of the world's true gentlemen in all senses of the word. The congregation was testament to his popularity as people had travelled from far and wide to pay their respects and give their support despite parking restrictions, bad weather etc. There followed memories, anecdotes and tributes from all aspects of his life. Why is it that it is only on such occasions you learn so much more about the person who has passed on? David obviously led a very full and enjoyable life before joining the Club and there were some amusing tales recounted. The whole of the service was uplifting and celebratory, thoughtful prayers and inspiring hymns including Hark the Herald Angels Sing to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

After the service a large number of people made their way to Chichester Yacht Club, where David was a member for over forty years, for his wake and many more memories.

A truly remarkable man, loved and respected by all who knew him and who will be sadly missed.

Kate Meachem

See obituary.