1918: The passing of 'The father of Cuckfield' - Richard Bevan

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 19 February 1918


DEATH AT CUCKFIELD OF MR. R. A. BEVAN, J.P. A LONG' AND WELL-SPENT LIFE.


At the advanced age of 83 years, Mr. Richard Alexander Bevan, J.P., of Horsgate, Cuckfield. peacefully passed away yesterday (Monday) morning. He had been confined to his bed for a long time, and the end was not unexpected.


Mr. Bevan, although his business interests were mainly associated with Brighton as a banker, loved Cuckfield—and Cuckfield loved him. Its old-world charm and connections appealed strongly to his nature, and he was never so happy as when doing something to benefit the town in which be for so many years he had made his home.

Richard Bevan 1836-1918

His nature was gentle. He loved peace. His sympathies were democratic. His views broad. Position and power he never sought, but it was the desire of others who knew his ability and his worth that his personality should not be hidden in the shade.


He adorned the positions to which he was appointed. He was earnest and thorough in all that he undertook. And he was a gentleman because he was a man.


Mr. Bevan was born at Brighton on 14th July, 1834, and was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, and then he took his M.A. degree.


In 1861 he married, and in 1906 he became a widower. By the marriage there were four sons and two daughters.


Formerly Mr. Bevan was a partner in the Brighton Union Bank, and subsequently became a Local Director of Barclays Bank, holding the position for several years.


By Brightonians he was highly esteemed and his advice and support were frequently sought by those associated with charitable undertakings.


In archaeological matters Mr. Bevan took a very deep interest, and he enriched the Queen's Hall at Cuckfield with a number of articles connected with “Bygone Sussex”. The Library at the Hall was also dear to his heart, and he took a delight in carrying home books that needed rebinding, and doing the work at Horsgate.


And then there were the Improvements Association and the Horticultural Society. How attached he was to these organisations, simply because he saw that through them Cuckfield and its people could be benefited. Because of the encouragement which he gave we think we may safely say that Cuckfield cottagers gained a very high horticultural reputation, and it was always a great pleasure to him to visit Cuckfield Flower Show and give away the money prizes to the successful competitors. He could always be relied upon to say a word in season and also do the right thing at the right time.


We could go on enumerating other organisations with which he was connected, but we think we have said enough to show that Mr Bevan served his generation well, and that his departure, while it may be his gain, is a decided loss to those whom he has left behind.


Such was his nature that left a request that there should be no mourning apparel worn at his death, no display of flowers and while this wish cannot but be respected, those nearest and dearest to him may take it that the whole town of Cuckfield deeply sympathises with them in their bereavement and that many residents in other parts of Mid Sussex will be touched to think that such an upright and worthy citizen has been taken from their midst.


This (Tuesday) morning we were Informed that the funeral will take place at Cuckfield Church on Friday, at 2 p.m.