Tributes as Lord Carbery laid to rest
A POET, composer, classicist and “incurable romantic”, Peter Ralfe Harrington Evans-Freke was laid to rest yesterday, the first lord to enter the family crypt in 167 years.
The 11th Baron Carbery and the 7th Baronet Evans-Freke was carried in a 19th-century horse-drawn hearse to rest in the family crypt next to the ruined Castle Freke chapel overlooking the Atlantic ocean at Long Strand, Co Cork.
A civil engineer by trade, Lord Carbery of the Castle Freke estate served behind enemy lines during the second World War, carrying out operations to destroy Japanese infrastructure. He later helped clear the way for allied troops at the infamous Battle of the Tennis Court at Kohima, India in 1944.
Family, his education at Downside School (a four-century-old Catholic public school), the war and his mother were listed among the most important influences on Lord Carbery’s life.
Described as “an extraordinary classicist” by his son John Evans-Freke during a eulogy at his funeral Mass at Rathbarry church yesterday, Lord Carbery was a prolific writer. His only published work, a book of poetry, Love, Life and Laughter, was among the gifts brought to the altar by his children.
His Knights of Malta insignia, which he wore on special occasions, rosary beads and a piece of music he composed were offered at the Mass, a full sung Tridentine Latin Mass celebrated by an abbot of Downside Abbey, Dom Boniface Hill together with concelebrant Fr Patrick McCarthy (PP) and Dom Phillip Tierney of Glenstal Abbey.
Lord Carbery was “a Renaissance man in the true Victorian style”, with a deep devotion to the Catholic Church, his son John told mourners yesterday. He and his late wife Lady Joyzelle Carbery (née Binny), whom he married in 1941, visited Lourdes regularly during their 64 years together.
Both only children, Lord and Lady Carbery were passionate about family and their five children, 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren were Lord Carbery’s “greatest achievement” in life, his son said. He was particularly proud of his son Stephen Evans-Freke’s work restoring Rathbarry Castle and Castle Freke itself, where work is ongoing.
Following his wife’s death in 2006, Lord Carbery married his second wife, Lady Elisabeth Carbery, to whom John paid tribute yesterday for “looking after him tirelessly”.
“He was kind to everyone, he had time for everyone, he enjoyed life to the full, enjoyed a good story and was an incurable romantic. His huge infectious laugh will always be remembered. He was enormously talented, gifted with an inquiring mind,” John Evans-Freke said.
The 12th Baron Carbery title will be taken up by Lord Carbery’s eldest son, Michael.