They came to send off a stranger - and they came in their hundreds. Today mourners attended the burial of James MConnell who died of a chest infection. The former Royal Marine had no family and faced a lonely burial - that was until the local vicar sent out a Facebook plea.
Word spread around the armed forces community and - as Sally Simmonds reports - the 70 year old from Southsea wasn't let down.
Over two hundred strangers attend the funeral of former Royal Marine James McConnell after a vicar put out a plea on Facebook amid fears that he would be buried without mourners. The 70-year-old died at a care home in Southsea, Hampshire, and he did not have any close family.
Over two hundred people attended the funeral today of a man they didn't know. James known as Jimmy McConnell had no known relatives, but a plea from the Royal Marines with whom he's thought to have served brought a huge crowd. Sally Simmonds joined the well wishers.
Hundreds of mourners are expected to gather at the funeral of former Royal Marine James 'Jimmy' McConnell. He had no relatives, and lived in a care home in Portsmouth.
However, after hearing of Jimmy's death, other armed forces personnel have rallied together to make sure his funeral will be well attended.