Hundreds Attend Funeral Of WWII Veteran They Didn’t Know
“Hundreds of people from across the U.K. have attended the funeral in Lancashire of a World War II veteran they never knew,” the BBC reports.
“Harold Jellicoe Percival died aged 99 without close friends or relatives at hand at a nursing home, where staff worried no one would be at his funeral to mark his passing.
“But after a public appeal in The Gazette and on social networks for the Second World War veteran, roads were blocked with traffic and the crematorium unable to hold the numbers of mourners at his funeral, poignantly beginning at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. …
” ‘It’s just staggering,’ his nephew, Andre Collyer-Worsell, said after attending the service. … He was not a hero, he was just someone who did his duty in World War Two, just as his brother and sister did and his father before him in World War One. We were expecting a few people, a few local veterans but suddenly it snowballed. It’s the sort of send-off you would want to give any loved one.’ ”
The Associated Press writes from Lancashire that Rev. Alan Clark, who conducted the service, told those gathered that “you have come in numbers surpassing anything that was expected. Not because you knew him, but because each of us has a common humanity.”
During the war, Percival worked on the ground crew with RAF Bomber Command, theGazette says. “Fittingly,” the newspaper reports, “his coffin, with the distinctive blue RAF flag on top, was borne into the crematorium to the sound of the theme from The Dam Busters, because he served with the ground crew of the famous squadron whose bouncing bomb raid wrought havoc on Nazi Germany.”
He died on Oct. 25.
The BBC adds that another nephew, David Worsell, could not attend the funeral. But he spoke to the network about his uncle:
“He was a private man. He worked in Australia for a number of years as a decorator and would visit England for holidays. He travelled around England with only his backpack. He didn’t have a postal address — he just used to get everything sent to my mother’s address and would go through it when they met up.”
BBC Radio Lancashire reporter Steve Becker notes that “we’ll never know the answer to the question posed by many people at the service: What would this quiet man have made of his send off? But most suspected he’d have been secretly pleased and proud.”
DISRUPT Media is a full-service creative agency built for the now. We partner with death care companies to drive deep-rooted brand loyalty and measurable leads through social media.
More Fans. More Conversations. More Leads.
Ryan is also the founder of ConnectingDirectors.com. ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
Latest posts by Ryan Thogmartin (see all)
- MAJOR Facebook News Feed Changes and What They Mean For Your Deathcare Business - January 15, 2018
- Does Your State Have a New Minimum Wage Law? - January 10, 2018
- Download: 9 Holiday Animation Videos for Facebook - December 4, 2017
You may be interested
UPDATE ON HUGE FUNERAL INDUSTRY CIVIL LAWSUIT | FUNERAL nation 101 – CHANGE MAKERSCDFuneralNews - January 21, 2018
On this episode, we talk with a death care attorney who is handling a high profile civil lawsuit affecting thousands…
OGR Annual Conference Offers Solutions to Business Problems in Savannah, GA April 4-6, 2018CDFuneralNews - January 21, 2018
AUSTIN, TX – JANUARY 2018 - The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), the world’s leading professional association dedicated…
Funeral Cribs Episode 5 – Sunset Memorial Park, AlabamaCDFuneralNews - January 18, 2018
The Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home has had one major goal in mind from the time it started until now,…