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99 year old WWII veteran who had no family to attend his funeral

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Hundreds attend war veteran's funeral after newspaper ad


Hundreds of people from across the UK have attended the funeral in Lancashire of a World War Two veteran they never knew.



About 100 people were inside the crematorium with another 400 standing silently outside in the rain

Harold Jellicoe Percival, who was known as Coe, served as ground crew on the famous Dambusters raids carried out in May 1943 by 617 Squadron.

Mr Percival, who died last month aged 99, never married or had children.

The funeral home organising the service put an advert in a newspaper appealing for people to attend.

The Reverend Alan Clark, who conducted the service, said: "We marvel at the power of the printed word, whether on paper or screen."

Mr Percival's nephew, Andrew Colyer-Worrsall, said the attendance was "just remarkable".


"He was a quiet man, he was an ordinary man who did his duty and served in the war and to see so many people turn up, it's just overwhelming," he said.

"I can only say thank you so much to everybody.

"We thought there would just be two or three of us, so to see this many hundreds of people turn up is stunning."

Mr Percival, who lived in Penge, south London, before joining Bomber Command, died in Alistre Lodge Nursing Home in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire.

Nursing home manager Lorraine Holt told BBC News she had been inundated with responses from people after the advert was reposted on social media sites.

"Late last night, we had a call from a soldier on leave from Afghanistan who said he wanted to attend.

"Then an 80-year-old lady from London who served in the RAF called us to say she was attending.

"The response has been absolutely incredible."


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What an uplifting story. :)

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Ah, I saw the picture with a caption earlier about people attending the funeral for someone that they didn't know, but I didn't have the backstory. Very heart-warming, if I had been in the area I'd have attended myself. (Y)

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