All sorts of uniforms were represented, from school children to Sea Scouts, and many had felt compelled to attend after their MP got his hands dirty to help with their issues.
Graham Ross, a 70-year-old retired engineer, contacted the MP after being denied a rabies vaccination by his chemist.
“David said that was ridiculous and got the ball moving for me,” he said.
Sir David placed a few calls, and managed to get Mr Ross a letter confirming he was eligible. Within a day, he had the medication he needed.
Mr Ross waited outside the church to see Sir David’s coffin carried out, which was draped in a union flag and carried by pall bearers drawn from Southend Fire Service.
As it was placed into the horse-drawn hearse, the crowd gathered outside broke into a spontaneous round of applause.
A cortege followed the hearse along roads closed for the occasion, stopping at the town’s Civic Centre, where flags were flying at half-mast.
Drivers pulled over to the side of the road and got out of their cars to watch and pay their respects.
The carriage driver stepped down for a moment and addressed the crowd gathered there.
“On behalf of the family of David Amess, thank you very much,” he said. People clapped and cried.
Inside the church, Mark Francois delivered a eulogy, praising the man he branded the “original Essex cheeky chappy”.
The Rayleigh and Wickford MP said: “Our electors employ us to represent them in a contract renewable every few years. We work for them and not the other way around, and no one was ever more conscious of that than David Amess.”
Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, a friend of Sir David’s, read a statement on behalf of the Amess family – their pain still raw.
“Our hearts are shattered,” it read.
“However, there was still so much David wanted to do – this we know from the events of the last few days.