Ben Davis died peacefully on Sunday morning 22nd January 2017 at his home in Falmouth, surrounded by his family. He was in his late 80s.
Ben was a staunch supporter of the Society of Saint Gregory. His father had been a founding member of the Society when it was founded in 1929, and he urged Ben to attend the Summer School, which he did for the first time at New Hall, Chelmsford, in 1968. From that year until 2012, he attended every Summer School except one, a total of 39 attendances – surely a record. He would travel by train, catching the Night Riviera sleeping-car service from Truro to London, and then proceeding to our Summer School location, which, inconveniently for him, was usually in the east or north of England. Eventually his age made the long journey too exhausting.
Ben was for decades choirmaster of his local parish in Falmouth, ably assisted by his wife, Jenny, as organist. He was also the Society’s Plymouth diocesan representative for as long as the role has existed. Last July he wrote a letter to me, typically enclosing a cheque for £25 for the McElligott Fund, informing me that Jenny had taken over as choir leader because “my own bellows are very short of wind these days!!” – and wishing us all “ad multos annos”. We wish him an everlasting place in the heavenly choirs, with his “bellows” fully restored.
Ben’s funeral will take place on Friday 3rd February at 10 am at the church of Mary Immaculate, Killigrew Road, Falmouth.