Hundreds Gather To Pay Respects To World War II Hero Who Died With No One To Attend His Funeral

Sidney Marshall took part in the D-Day Landings, but despite fears that his funeral would be deserted, his deeds haven’t been forgotten.

1. Last week we reported that World War II Hero Sidney Marshall had died with barely anyone to attend his funeral, which is today.

The RAF gunner took part in the D-Day landings, flew 28 missions and won the Distinguished Flying Medal for his quick thinking and bravery. But many of his family and frail and live far away from his native Lancashire.

2. There were genuine fears that apart from one or two extended family members, no would turn up.

3. But the funeral was arranged anyway, with the funeral directors hoping that some publicity would get some mourners to turn up.

4. It worked. The undertakers’ fears that no one would turn up to send him off didn’t come to pass, as crowds gathered to pay tribute.

7. Hundreds had gathered at the crematorium in Lytham.

At Lytham Crem for funeral of RAF hero Sidney Marshall who died last month. Hundreds of mourners have arrived.

— Chris Riches (@ChrisMRiches)

Hundreds turn out for funeral of WW2 veteran Sidney Marshall in Lytham.

— AMY WELCH (@amywelchitv)

9. Serving members of the armed forces turned out in droves.

#SidneyMarshall we thanked you and we cried #goodnessAndMercy

— Jenny Clarke (@JennytheM)

12. Fellow veterans assembled to show their respects.

Veterans gathering before the funeral of Sidney Marshall at Lytham Park Crematorium today.

— Adrian Cork (@Merseysidefew)

Veterans and standard bearers get ready for the ceremony. #SidneyMarshall

— Adrian Cork (@Merseysidefew)

16. The scene inside the crematorium was a busy one.

Inside the funeral service for RAF veteran Sidney Marshall from Fylde. Mourners answered a call to pay respects

— Steve Becker (@SteveBeckerHack)

17. It was an emotional experience, even for people who didn’t know Sidney.

I've just been to a funeral of a wonderful man I never knew #SidneyMarshall - but still I cried

— Jenny Clarke (@JennytheM)

18. But still there was enough levity for this joke from Sidney’s brother.

Brother of RAF hero #SidneyMarshall jokes he got revenge on Nazis for bombing his bakers - by bombing a German sausage factory years later.

— Chris Riches (@ChrisMRiches)

19. Donations were being taken for the RAF Benevolent Fund, which cares for retired servicemen and women.

Donations to the @RAFBF can be made in memory of Sidney Marshall and all those who served. #lestweforget

— Adrian Cork (@Merseysidefew)

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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