Sir Harry died on 13th August 1936, in his private suite at the Albion Hotel, of cancer, after many months of illness.
His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, too many to be accommodated at the funeral service itself. The roads were lined with onlookers as they watched the cortege make its way from Harry’s Royal Albion Hotel on the seafront, to St Peter’s Parish Church at York Place. London Road was also thronged with mourners as the funeral procession made its way from the church to the churchyard at Cuckfield, where Harry was laid to rest.
Peers, boxers, celebrities and representatives from all walks of life attended the funeral service. Two large motor coaches and several cars were needed to carry the huge numbers of floral tributes, one of which was sent from his good friend Edward, now King of England.
The passing of Sir Harry marks the closing of a chapter in the history of Brighton…. Brighton has lost her greatest ambassador, and the realm of sport one of its greatest figures.”
– The Brighton Herald
Harry is buried in the churchyard at Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield, near his country home Apple Tree Cottage in Ansty. The burial plot is marked by a two-metre high granite monument that bears the inscription, “In Memory of my Beloved Husband Sir Harry Preston, born February 19th 1860, died August 13th 1936”.
His great tournaments for hospitals brought him his knighthood. But those who knew him best will testify that the origin of those spectacular entertainments was his own sensitive sympathy with suffering humanity.”
– The Guardian
See also An Obituary.