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David voice could be heard on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Monday 30th March at around 8.35 am. You should be able to listen to this on BBC Sounds for around a fortnight afterwards.
Some weeks before David died an anthem was written specially for him and his beloved Mary, to be sung at his funeral. Because the service has now been indefinitely postponed, many of the musicians who would have loved to sing and play for the service most generously gave up their time to record at home, each his or her own voice or instrument, which was put together in this beautiful compilation in David and Mary's memory:
(A brief extract of this was also played on the Today Programme on 30th March; please see above for more details. It has also now been featured in Sky News and BBC1's Look East.)
Because of the risk to health of Coronavirus Covid 19, David's funeral has been postponed to safer times, when the many people who wish to pay their respects should be free to travel and gather again. We did however have a very small family service, at the time the funeral was scheduled to be, in the Garden of Rest where Mary is buried and David one day will be next to her, which we live-streamed:
This was done simply with a laptop downloading signal from an iPhone (at a time when the internet is under great strain because so many are home-working) so please forgive the erratic connection, particularly towards the end.
We would very much like to give something to David's two wonderful carers, who worked tirelessly to look after him and enabled him to enjoy such a long life and be comfortable in his last years, and who lost all their income with the person they loved so well. If you also wish to contribute to these two selfless and dedicated people in David's memory, please contact us at JDB@anneatkins.co.uk and we will advise how best to do this.
Please also add your own memories of David on the "Condolence" page. These lovely comments are much appreciated, thank you.
There was an obituary of David in the Daily Telegraph of Tuesday 24th March. There is also due to be one in The Times.
Within hours of David's death we were receiving pleas for a memorial service to be held at a more propitious time. Now that his funeral has been postponed we will certainly have some kind of ceremony at a later date, including the burial of his ashes with Mary's. If you want to be kept informed please register your interest at JDB@anneatkins.co.uk.
David Briggs, my prep school headmaster, was a warm, humane, affectionate and sympathetic presence in my life from my first day at King's, when I was nine, until his last day on earth, a period of over sixty years. God bless him for his kindness to me and to so many of those he taught and took care of.
I Praise God for David who shone of the love, compassion, grit, perseverance, kindness and so much more of the characters of our Lord Jesus. And, through troubled waters showed me Jesus is enough. His lovely smile and hugs will be so, so missed. Roger and I look forward to seeing him again when we arrive home too. Mary and David are together with their Lord and Saviour. Or loss but heaven's gain. Xxx
Our thoughts are with all the Briggs family at this exceptionally difficult time.
love, Flora, Nick, Sophie and Orlando
David it was an honour to know you. A devoted loving family man who also grew to love me too as I did you. I will miss you so much David and I will never forget you. Rest in peace my darling X
Amo, amas, Amat. Amamus, AMatis, amant. David - your words and memories will be there forever for many. Thank you for your kindness, understanding and patience. I’m already looking forward to our next lesson 🙂
I only met David in January this year, when I went to keep him company for an hour or so. It was an honour and a privilege to meet and converse with him. In spite of his good age, his mind was sharp, his humour and wit ready. I shall always remember him.
A man with whom I had so little contact, yet made such a vast impression.
RIP - You were a great man.
Very happy memories of JDB I sang in the chapel choir at Bryanston 1949-1954. and eventually got O level Latin. May your soul rest in peace and thank you for all you did for a teenager all those years ago.
You don't know me. But my Mother Catherine Staunton known as Rena died on new years eve, 31 Dec 2019. We had to wait due to backlogs until 28 Jan (her 94th birthday) to have a funeral Mass in Hendon at a RC Church we had never been to and then burial after a few graveside prayers with her husband of over 50 years. In the meantime at our local parish, in North Lincolnshire, where she had lived her last 2.5 years, a week before on Tuesday 21 Jan, we took over the usual weekly mass at 9.30 am, and remembered her, sang a few hymns without music and I told the 25 or 30 there including those from her care home and little about her and shared Tea Coffee and Cakes, which I had sorted/ baked the day before.
You gave your Father the best family send off with you all gathered around him and later gathered in simple prayers in the graveyard. Later you can have a memorial service, which in many ways can be simple, does not need funeral directors or a coffin. A good Picture or photo, people he cared for gathered, prayers readings and some simple refreshments.
This might be an Irish tradition, generally people have a funeral over there within 3 or 4 days of a death. No orders of service, news spread by word of mouth.. people gather and face up to the loss together. Afterwards Masses are arranged and said for the person who has died and their family, letter received and Small memorial cards prepared which are shared around family and friends for with a picture of the person or couple, dates and places of birth, death, burial and a few simple prayers on the reverse. I have found writing back to people and including these little memorial cards which were easy and inexpensive for a local printer to do helped me complete by thanking the people.
Thinking of you in your loss, I am sure very difficult. However you are not alone and a memorial service later in the year perhaps middle of summer or a significant date will I feel sure be possible and a fitting tribute to your Father. May he rest in peace and rise in Glory.
Ursula Barton upon Humber
David Briggs was my Latin Master at Bryanston.
He organised a visit by several of us to Evensong at Kings College.
Early on a cold February morning in 1952 I brought to him the news of the death of King George VI.
Seated at his usual desk in the large History Room he received the news from me with kindness but much sadness.
The whole room then stood to hear the news.
The visit to Kings has been remembered with gratitude for my entire life, along with a love of learning which was his priceless gift to many of us.
I didn't know David but found his obituary in Tuesday's Telegraph so interesting. I have listened to Kings's Carol Service every year since I was a child and love the opening solo.
Sorry all the funeral plans went wrong but I am sure you have wonderful memories of David.
I will now re-read Anne's books.
I had both the honour and privilege to have met David Briggs nine years ago while working in the Atkins' home, where he quickly became my teacher and friend. He taught me Latin and Greek, but more importantly, he taught me the importance of patience, kindness, and listening.
When I relocated back to Canada, David and I remained in touch via post, and remained pen pals for eight years. He would write to me as often as he could, sharing on his life, his family, and including any news paper articles he thought I might enjoy. David also sent me birthday cards every year, the last of which arrived just recently on my thirtieth birthday, dated March 9th.
David Briggs was an amazing man who lived a remarkable life and he will be remembered as such.
JDB taught me Latin at Bryanston about 70 years ago. He also supervised my contribution to the building of the Greek Theatre. He was always calm, kind and considerate. I did not realise that he was a Conscientious Objector so was probably very disappointed when I gave up Pioneering to join the Sea Cadet Corps and eventually the Royal Navy. Sorry JDB.
I am sadden by the departure of a dear friend Mr David John Briggs. He was greatly loved, respected and admired by the team of carers that worked with him. You are in our thoughts during this difficult time. Please accept our sincere condolence and wish that Anne and the rest of the family will find some comfort as you all deal with your lose.
With Best Regards
Former Team Leader
First 2 Care