Funeral held for much loved nurse who died with Covid-19 at Harlow hospital

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer

The funeral has taken place of a much loved and popular nurse who died with coronavirus at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow where he worked until his death.

Barclay Mason, 56, was originally from New Zealand and had been a senior charge nurse at the hospital for more than 20 years.

Hundreds of friends and former colleagues formed a guard of honour outside the hospital as the funeral cortege dove past.

Friends and former colleagues form a guard of honour as the funeral cortege passes by the Princess Alexandrea Hospital, Harlow

Friends and former workmates described him as a magnificent human being who had made a big impact at the hospital.

Sarah Lewis remembered when he first arrived from New Zealand to follow his dream of nursing. She said he was a very special man.

"You know, he didn't have any enemies, everybody was his friend. He was so caring, he was so kind. He had a heart of gold, always professional in his manner. Very proud to be a nurse," said Sarah Lewis.

Another friend, emergency nurse, Carly Taplin said he had become part of her family.

"My whole family is so distraught because he's irreplaceable, no one will ever come close to ever being a friend like he was, he was such an individual person, once met never forgotten, just an amazing soul," she said.

Lance McCarthy, the trust's chief executive, said he would be "remembered for his commitment to patient care, his kindness and as a valued friend and colleague to many".

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust Credit: ITV Anglia

A fundraising page, which was set up to raise money for Mr Mason's funeral has raised more than £18,000.

After today's service, Barclay would be returned and laid to rest in Christchurch.

A tribute from family and close friends issued through the hospital said: "The sadness we feel is more than words can express.

"The most amazing man in our life, father to our children, has died.

"He leaves behind committed colleagues and friends who are shocked but who continue to go to work every day with compassion and care for their patients, just as Barclay did.

"Colleagues and friends from the PAHT Emergency Department and East of England Ambulance Service will hold a special place in our hearts as they were Barclay's UK family."

They also shared a Maori blessing, which included the lines: "Fly free, o spirit; Fly to the realms of the heavens; Uplifted by the sun."