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Richard Sargeant Alford (1855–1887)

On Saturday morning last there passed over peacefully to the ever-increasing majority the Rev. R. S. [Richard Sargeant] Alford, minister of the Elmore Bible Christian Church, at the early age of 31 years. Mr. Alford during his residence here since April, 1884, never enjoyed robust health, though his sanguine temperament and steady faith enabled him to fill his pastorate most efficiently, and his kindly character secured the support and complete respect of his flock, amongst whom he will be for a long time remembered as an earnest worker, and a constant and sincere friend and guide. The attack of sickness which resulted in his death commenced about the 3rd inst. with congestion of the brain, followed by typhoid fever, in a most serious form. Dr. Taaffe, his medical attendant, was assiduous in his efforts to defeat the fever in his patient, and his wife and friends did everything possible to nurse the flickering flame of life again to brightness, but all in vain, and after two weeks of extreme physical suffering he passed away as though going quietly to sleep. His death, following so quickly that of Mr. William Jones, one of his congregation, has naturally cast a feeling of sorrow over the church, and indeed the feelings of regret that he should so early have been taken from his labors, and the sympathy felt for his wife and children are general and widely felt by all who knew him, and could understand his unassuming manner, and the kindliness of his heart. Mr. Alford was born near Callington, Cornwall, in the year 1855, and entered the ministry is his 22nd year. He married in June, 1882, and he and Mrs. Alford came to Victoria in the s.s. Sorata in the month of August following. They took up their abode directly after in Sandhurst, and there Mr. Alford first officiated. He afterwards, on April 2, 1884, came to Elmore, where he took charge of the district, living at the Bible Christian Parsonage, last vacated by the Rev. R. Down. He was an ardent and consistent supporter of the principles of temperance, and was a willing helper in the support of all religious progressive movements. The reverend gentlemen had been lately elected to the chairmanship of the Sandhurst district, and it seems sad to those who recognised his sterling abilities that he should have been called away so early from his appointed work. His character was unobtrusive but vivacious, yet sufficiently marked with individuality, and he leaves behind him a good name, and an example worthy of following. His burial took place on Sunday afternoon, a preliminary service being delivered at the Parsonage by the Rev. W. H. Hoskens, of Melbourne, after which the funeral cortege, consisting of about 40 vehicles, besides a large number of friends on horseback and on foot, formed and proceeded to the Elmore Cemetery. At the grave, the Rev. Mr. Hoskens delivered the burial service most impressively, after which the Rev. T. J. Cory gave a suitable address. The funeral arrangements were carried out efficiently by Mr. H. H. Farrall.

Original publication

Citation details

'Alford, Richard Sargeant (1855–1887)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Cornwall, England


19 March, 1887 (aged ~ 32)
Elmore, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

typhoid fever

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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