“I’m going to be an undertaker,” said the young boy on the bus. He was about 12 years old. It was 1956. He was one of our group of Farnham youngsters on the top deck of the Number 31 bus travelling to our respective schools in Guildford.
We were discussing what jobs we would do when we left school. The boy was David Leggett.
He was probably the youngest on the bus and, affectionately, we called him Little David. A dear little chap.
Yes, it was David Leggett who, sadly, has died aged 78, and, yes, he did become an undertaker.
David’s funeral was held in St Thomas-on-The-Bourne. Mourners packed the church to bid a sad farewell and pay tribute to his long service in his chosen profession.
Many thousands of us have been grateful for David’s thoughtfulness and compassion at times when we were grieving our lost loved ones.
In 1970 David carried our baby daughter’s little white coffin but, by 2017, when my husband died, David had retired.
However, on the morning of Peter’s funeral, he phoned me and said: “I’d been asked to mind the office while the others carried out a funeral, but when I saw it was Peter’s I told them ‘I’m doing this one’.” And he did.
He arrived on my driveway and gave me a big hug. There might have been kiss but I can’t remember! I was so pleased to see him.
I’ve known David through all the years, for a cheerful chat in the town or at the many funerals we both attended.
I recall I went to one funeral and soon realised I didn’t know anyone there except David.
I sidled up to him and whispered: “I think I’m at the wrong funeral.” And I was. The two departed souls had the same surname.
I have fond memories of that little boy on the Number 31 bus joining in the fun and laughter.
David was a lovely caring man with a sunny disposition. I am so sad I will no longer see him around.
Hurlands Close, Farnham