Portrait of Arthur  Boyse

Name: Arthur Boyse

Burial Number: 1716

Gender: Male

Occupation: Organist and Music Teacher

Distinction: Heene's Organist

Born: 30/1/1859

Died: 04/02/1940

Buried: 07/02/1940


Arthur Boyse 1859 -1940

Heene’s Organist

Heene Hallmark

Arthur was born on 30th January 1859 in the village of Kempston in Bedfordshire Thomas and Elizabeth. His father was a carpenter. He was baptised at All Saints Church on 27 March 1859.

In 1861 he was living at the School House, Kempston with his family and Siblings, his Father Thomas was a carpenter. Arthur received his first musical training aged 8, his Father made a pedal keyboard which his son learnt to play. By 1871 the family were living at Church Street Buckingham.

When Arthur was 13 he was organist at Buckingham Parish Church. He was taught by Dr Bunnett of Norwich Cathedral and gained experience at Christchurch Eastbourne. He was for several years a deputy organist under Dr. Sawyer at St. Patrick’s Church, Hove, before coming to Heene in 1886 where he was appointed the organist and choirmaster at St. Botolph’s Church. He lodged at Corton House Rowlands Road and then in 1891 he was a boarder at Byron Lodge, Heene, he lodged there for many years working as an organist and music teacher.  He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO).

Arthur married Dorothy Vera Mellersh (eldest Daughter of Montague Neale Mellersh of Worthing) at Heene on 21 Oct 1914. The couple had three sons and a daughter. By 1921 the family were living at 32 Grafton Road, Worthing where Arthur taught music. In 1934, Arthur and Dorothy were living at “Moreton” 49 Haynes Road, Worthing.

Arthur served for 53 years as an organist at St Botolph’s Church and served under 5 Rectors. He composed and transcribed chants and Hymn tunes of which at least 50 were published. He was a member of Worthing Bowling Club and also a member of Worthing Rifle Club. He shot for Sussex against Surrey in rifle shooting contests.​

Arthur died at his home on 4th February 1940. Probate was granted on 27th March to Bernard Alan James Boyse aeronautical engineer and Herbert Norman Collet company secretary. Effects £1719 18s 1d (approx £68K in 2020)

Arthur and Dorothy had 4 children –

Ida Boyse    born 18th December 1916 Worthing, died 1973 Brighton.  She married Hebert Hales in 1942. Children unknown

Bernard Alan James Boyse    born 1917, Worthing, died 14th July 1941

Attended Worthing Boy’s High School, and was a supporter and player at Worthing Azurians Rugby Club.   On leaving school he worked at Ricardo-Thorneycroft in Shoreham

Bernard was a sergeant in the RAF, 86th squadron and was killed on 21 July 1941 when his aircraft failed to return from an operational flight over the Dutch coast. He appears on the Runnymede Memorial for RAF pilots killed in WW2 that have no known graves.

Edward Arthur Boyse   born 11th August 1923 Worthing. Died 14th July 2007, Tuscon USA

Edward also served in the RAF, gaining his wings in Canada. After the war Edward studied medicine in London qualifying in 1952. He worked for 5 years doing various hospital jobs, during which he got his MD.  In 1957 he moved to a 3 year research appointment at Guy’s hospital.  He gained his first appointment in the USA at New York University School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology. He became a Physician and Biologist best known for his research on the immune system and how it responded to Antigens. He was a professor of biology at University Cornell from 1969 to 1989. He became an American citizen in 1979.

He moved to the University of Arizona, becoming a distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology. He later studied how animals can communicate through odours. He won the Cancer Research Institute for distinguished research in immunology.  He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the Royal Society, and a member of the American Arts and Sciences.  He officially retired in 1994 but continued working; his last paper was in 2002.

His first Wife was Jeanette Grimwood and they had 2 Sons and one Daughter, he then married Judith Bard and had another Son.

Benjamin J   Boyse   born 11th January 1928, Died 2004 Surrey.  Married Beryl Jean Brace on 18th October 1952 at St. Botolph’s Worthing. They had 2 children and lived in Surrey

Researcher: Jackie Rooney

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Arthur  Boyse

Location in Cemetery

Area: NES Row: 4 Plot: 8

Exact Location (what3words): recall.feels.gross

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


In loving memory of Arthur Boyse died 4th February 1940 aged 82 organist and choirmaster at Heene Church for over 50 years and his beloved wife Dorothy Vera died 19th February 1964 aged 75

Further Information


Name: Arthur Boyse

Gender: Male

Born: 30/1/1859

Town: Kempston

County: Bedfordshire

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: 21/10/1914

Spouse First Name: Dorothy

Spouse Second Name: Vera

Spouse Last Name: Mellersh

Town of Marriage: Worthing

County of Marriage: Sussex

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 04/02/1940

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: "Moreton"

Address line 2: 49

Address line 3: Haynes Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


Worthing Gazette, 7 February 1940 – “Organist Under Five Rectors”

Organist under five rectors of Heene, Mr Arthur Boyse died at his home, 49, Haynes Road, Worthing, on Sunday, a few days after his 81st birthday.

Mr Boyse, who was a native of Kempston, Bedford came to Worthing 54 years ago to take up temporary duties at Heene for three months. He stayed to become organist and choirmaster.

He celebrated his jubilee in that position in July 1936, when members of the congregation of St Botolph’s presented him with a cheque.

He composed a number of hymn tunes, litanies, and chants, and wrote transcriptions for the organ of over 40 works of famous composers.

He played the organ publicly for the first time at the age of 13, for a funeral service, and was the first F.R.C.O. to play in Worthing.

He was a keen member of Worthing Bowling Club, and many years ago was a good shot, winning many trophies as a member of the Worthing Rifle Club. The funeral took place today, the internment at Heene Cemetery being preceded by a requiem mass at St Bololph’s.


Worthing Herald, 9 February 1940 – “Organist at One Church for Fifty-Three Years”

Death of Mr Arthur Boyse F.R.C.O.

Organist at Heene Church for nearly fifty-four years, Mr Arthur Boyse F.R.C.O. died at his home, 49 Haynes Road on Sunday, a few days after his eighty-first birthday. he played at the church a fortnight before his death and it is likely that the illness resulted from his braving the cold weather.

Mr Boyse was appointed temporary organist at Heene for three months. During that period, he was made full time organist and choirmaster, and he held that position until his death. When he first came, he used to walk from Worthing Station to the church along country lanes. St Andrew’s had not been built and St Paul’s was a Chapel of Ease to Broadwater.

In June 1936, when he completed 50 years’ service, he was presented with a cheque for £98 subscribed to by the members of the congregation. Mr Boyse, who was the first fellow of the Royal College of Organists to practice in Worthing, was born in Bedfordshire. He received his first musical training at the age of eight. His father made a pedal keyboard organ upon which his son learned to play. He acted as organist at Buckingham Parish Church when he was 13, playing a full service. He was taught by Dr Bunnett of Norwich Cathedral and gained experience at Christ Church, Eastbourne. For several years, he was deputy organist under Dr Sawyer at St Patrick’s, Hove before coming to Heene.

During his 53 years at St Botolph’s, Mr Boyse served under five rectors. he composed many chants and hymn tunes used at Heene church and something like 50 of his transcriptions for the organ have been published. Mr Boyse was a member of Worthing Bowling Club for about 21 years and a member of Worthing Rifle Club. He shot for Sussex against Surrey in rifle shooting contests. He leaves a widow, a daughter and three sons. All three sons are in the choir at Heene church.

There was a large gathering at the funeral service at St Botolph’s Church on Wednesday. Requiem mass was to Merbecke’s setting. The rector Rev. E A Haviland and the curate Rev. Dr H S Box officiated. The organist Mr J White played Solemn Prelude by Hugh Blair. “Blest are the departed” from Spohr’s “Last Judgement” and Mendelssohn’s “O Rest in the Lord”. The hymns were “Think O God, In Mercy” “The Heavenly Word Proceeding Forth” and “Jesus Lives! No Longer Now”.

The chief mourners were: Mrs Boyse (widow), Miss Mary Boyse (daughter), Mr A Boyse and Mr E Boyse (sons), Mrs Harrison (sister-in-law), Mr Julian Harrison (nephew), Mr C Newman and Mr R Lowes. Among those present were: Mr K Harman Young JP and Mr James Smith (church wardens), Mrs James Smith, Mrs Haviland, Mrs Box, Deaconess Edith, Mr & Mrs J B Sams, Mrs M D Hugman, Mr Harrison Baker, Mr F C Hambleton, Miss Newman, Mrs & Miss West, Mrs Shaw, Mrs Turner, Mrs Emery, Mr A C Allen, Miss Allen, Mr O Francis, Mr W Simpson, Miss Silversides, Mr H Bristow Wallen, Mrs & Miss Emmet, Miss Cooke, Miss Curtis, Miss Morris, Miss Rawlinson, Mr H O Gould, Miss Fisher, Miss Holmes, Mr O Dalby, Miss Woods, Mrs Helman, Miss Jenkins, Mr & Mrs F Green, Rev. H A West, Miss A Hinds, Rev. D H K Keppel, Mr C B Ketchlee, Mrs Dobree, Miss freeman, Miss Miller, Mrs Speller, Miss Swain and Mr Hastain. Among the wreaths were those from the ladies’ choir, the clergy, church wardens, sidesmen and Parochial Church Council; Mothers’ Union and Womens’ Fellowship; boys’ choir and choir at St George’s; and the Sussex Theatre.

Worthing Gazette, 14th Feb, 1940 – “Funeral of former organist at Heene”

Requiem for Mr Arthur Boyse – A requiem service in the Church where he had been organist for more than half a century was conducted at the funeral at Heene on Wednesday of Mr Arthur Boyse F.R.C.O. of Moreton, 49 Haynes Road, Worthing, whose death at the age of 81 was recorded in last week’s Worthing Gazette. The Rector of Heene Rev. E.A. Haviland and the Rev. Dr. J.S. Box officiated at the service in St Botolph’s Church, and Mr J. White at the organ played Hugo Blair’s ‘Solemn Prelude’ Sphors ‘Blest are the Departed’ and Mendelssohn’s ‘O rest in the Lord’. As the coffin was carried into the churchyard for internment, the ‘Nunc Dimittis’ was sung.

The chief mourners were the widow, Mr Alan Boyse and Mr Edward Boyse (sons); Mrs A Harrison (sister-in-law); Mr Julian Harwood (nephew); Mr Robert Lawes and Mr Cyril Newman. Also at the church were:

Mr James Smith and Mr Harman Young J.P, (Churchwardens), Mr H. Bristow Wallen and Mr AC Allen (Deputy Churchwardens), the Rev. D.H.E. Keppel, The Rev. HA West; Deaconess Edith, Miss Allen, Mr Harrison Baker, Mrs Box, Miss Beckles, Miss Coombe, Miss Cooke, Miss Curtis, Mr C Dalby (Chichester), the Misses Dobree.

Mrs Emmett, Miss Emmett, Mrs Emery, Miss Fisher, Miss Freeman, Mr C Francis, Mr and Mrs F Green, Mr HC. Gould, Mr FC Hambleton, Mrs MD Hugman, Mr Hastain, Mrs Haviland, Miss A Hinds, Miss Holmes, Miss Jenkins, Mr CB Ketchlee, Miss Morris, Miss Miller, Mrs Newman, Miss Newman, Miss Rawlinson.

Mr and Mrs IB Syms, Mr James Smith, Mrs Shaw, Mr W Simpson, Mrs Swain, Mrs Speller, Miss Silversides, Mrs Turner, Miss Woods, Mr and Mrs West.

Flowers – Wreaths were sent by :-

The Widow: his devoted children Ida and Julian, Mater, Cyril, Stella and Basil, Alice, Gertie and Walter.

Clergy, Churchwardens, Sidesmen and Parochial Church Council of St Botolph’s, the Ladies Choir at Heene, Mothers Union and Women’s Fellowship, the Boys choir, the Choir and Organist of St George’s Church, members of the Susex Theatre.

Mr and Mrs Bateman and family, Miss Beckles, Mr and Mrs Barnes, Mrs Cory and Miss Barton, Mr and Mrs Enticknap, Mr and Mrs Green, Mr and Mrs Hales, Mr Ralph Hyde, Gladys and Ethel, Mr and Mrs Lowes and Robert, Helen and Kate Luke, Mr and Mrs Newman, little Patricia, DH Palthorpe, Mr and Mrs Sams and family…..




Personal Effects

Money left to others: £1719 18 s 1 d

Current value of effects: £68000

Census Information


School House, Kempston
Thomas aged 27, carpenter. Elizabeth aged 25. Edward aged 6. Catherine aged 4. Arthur aged 2.


Church Street, Buckingham.
Thomas aged 37, carpenter. Elizabeth aged 35. Edward aged 16, apprentice carpenter. Arthur aged 12. Francis aged 9. Alice aged 7. Ada aged 3. Benjamin aged 1.


1 Alexandra Terrace, Eastbourne.
Arthur aged 22, organist.
Boarder in the house of William Cook.


Corton House, Rowlands Road, Worthing.
Arthur aged 32, organist & music teacher.
Boarder in the house of Emily Light.


Byron Lodge, Byron Road, Heene
Arthur aged 42, organist and music teacher. Boarder in the house of Frances West


Byron Lodge, Byron Road, Heene.
Arthur aged 52, organist and music teacher.
Boarder in the house of Frances West.


32 Grafton Road, Worthing, Sussex

First name(s) Last name Relationship to head Sex Birth year Age Birth place Occupation Employer
Arthur Boyce
M 1859 62 Bedford, Bedfordshire Organist & Teacher Of Music Rector Of Heene Church Worthing
Dorothy Vera Boyce
F 1889 32 Reigate, Surrey
Ida Mary Boyce
F 1917 4 Worthing, Sussex
Bernard Alan James Boyce
M 1918 3 Worthing, Sussex


49 Haynes Road,Worthing

Arthur Boyse, organist. Dorothy Vera, unpaid domestic duties. Ida, Boots shop assistant, ARP scheme first aider. Edward, at school. Benjamin, at school.

Miscellaneous Information

Worthing Herald – 11th April 1936

Fifty Years At Heene – Worthing Organist’s Fine Record – Services of Mr. A. Boyse to be Recognised – Composer of Hymns and Chants

For fifty years Mr Arthur Boyse has been organist and choirmaster at St Botolph’s church, Heene.

To mark the completion of the half century in June he is to receive a testimonial from the congregation.

Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, Mr Boyse was born in Bedfordshire and received his first training in the rudiments of organ playing at the early age of eight. At that time his father, who was extremely fond of the organ, made a pedal keyboard upon which his son learned to perform.

At the age of 13 he acted as organist at Buckingham Parish Church.

He received instruction form Dr. Bunnett, of Norwich Cathedral, and later gained experience at Christ Church, Seaside, Eastbourne.

For several years he acted as deputy organist under Dr Sawyer at St Patrick’s, Hove, afterwards taking up his present appointment at Heene.

Served Under Five Rectors – During the fifty years he has been at St Botolph’s Mr Boyse has served under five rectors – and what is something of a record – has never had a single disagreement or quarrel.

Today – well past the allotted three score years and ten – Mr Boyse remains as keen and interested as ever in his musical work.

“I have enjoyed the 50 years and the church and the organ have both been a pleasure to me.” he told a “Worthing Herald” representative.

Composed Hymns and Chants – He is a composer of many chants and hymn tunes used at Heene Church, while something like 50 of his transcriptions for the organ have been published by a well known London and Brighton firm of publishers.

Incidentally, Mr Boyse is an old bowler, having been a member of Worthing Bowling Club for about 21 years. In addition he has shot for Sussex against Surrey in rifle shooting contests.

The Worthing Gazette – Wednesday November 11th 1896

Concert at Heene – A concert under the direction of Mr A Boyse, organist of St. Botolph’s Church, was given in the Heene Schoolroom, on Monday evening, for the purpose of wiping off a deficit in the accounts of the new defunct St. Botolph’s Cricket Club. Mr W.H. Binstead, organist of West Tarring Church played two oboe solos, and Mr H.N. Collett two clarinet solos; Mr West contributed a pianoforte solo; two recitations were given by Mr W Blackman; and songs were sung by Messrs E.W. Bennett, H. West, J. Godden, E Whitcomb, and R.H. Legg; and a duet was given by Messrs. West and Godden.  There was a good audience present, and sufficient was realised to accomplish the purpose for which the concert was arranged. The Rev. J.P. Fallowes, Rector of the parish, presided; and the accompanists were Messrs. Boyse, Baker and West.