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A Veteran Died With Nobody To Attend His Funeral — What Happened Next Was Incredibly Moving

RIP, Harold Jellicoe Percival.

Harold Jellicoe Percival, a veteran of Bomber Command in WWII, died last month aged 99. The death notice in his local paper said that there was nobody to attend his funeral.


living-the-dream

@middleaged_mom

So sad …. I do hope someone can attend

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Twitter picked up the story, in the hope that somebody might be able to attend.


SimonNRicketts

@SimonNRicketts

I hope this newspaper listing means some service personnel attend this guy’s funeral. (via @middleaged_mom)

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His local paper, the Blackpool Gazette, also covered the story.


SimonNRicketts

@SimonNRicketts

His local paper are on the case with that funeral. Good work. Send that man off well. (via @GazetteRhodes)

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And as a result today, at 11 a.m. on Armistice Day, hundreds of people — service personnel and civilians — gathered in the rain at Lytham Park Crematorium to pay their last respects to Harold.


Steve Becker

@SteveBeckerHack

Crowds gather for the funeral in Lytham of Harold Percival #lytham

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Mike McCarthy

@skynewsnorth

Hundreds turn up for funeral of war veteran Harold Percival who died without close friends and family.

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Harold Percival's funeral in Lytham. Mourners young and old.

— Nick Garnett (@nicholasgarnett)

Nick Garnett

@nicholasgarnett

Harold Percival’s funeral in Lytham. Mourners young and old.

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More service personnel arriving at Harold Percival's funeral in Lytham.

— Nick Garnett (@nicholasgarnett)

Nick Garnett

@nicholasgarnett

More service personnel arriving at Harold Percival’s funeral in Lytham.

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Harold Percival is set to get a huge send off. People here tell me they're honoured.

— Danny Savage (@dannysavage)

Danny Savage

@dannysavage

Harold Percival is set to get a huge send off. People here tell me they’re honoured.

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RAF standard bearers prepare for the arrival of Harold Percival's coffin at Lytham Crematorium #lytham

— Steve Becker (@SteveBeckerHack)

Steve Becker

@SteveBeckerHack

RAF standard bearers prepare for the arrival of Harold Percival’s coffin at Lytham Crematorium #lytham

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Harold Percival’s coffin, draped in a union flag before the funeral. Darren Staples / Reuters

At the 11th hour the Last Post will be played before Harold Percival is taken into the chapel service.

— Danny Savage (@dannysavage)

Danny Savage

@dannysavage

At the 11th hour the Last Post will be played before Harold Percival is taken into the chapel service.

/ Via

The Dambusters theme plays as Harold Jellicoe Percival's coffin is carried into the chapel. Crowd of 300+.

— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd)

Helen Pidd

@helenpidd

The Dambusters theme plays as Harold Jellicoe Percival’s coffin is carried into the chapel. Crowd of 300+.

/ Via

An army cadet wears a poppy during the funeral in Lytham St Annes. Darren Staples / Reuters

Darren Staples / Reuters

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Tom Phillips is the UK editorial director for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
 
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