Hundreds honour war hero

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of a war veteran they never knew today after an online appeal for Harold Jellicoe Percival, who died aged 99 with no close friends or relatives.

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Lytham salutes the almost-forgotten soldier

As millions marked Armistice Day across the world, members of the public, old soldiers and serving servicemen and women stood in silence for the arrival of Harold Percival's funeral cortege at the crematorium in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire.

The funeral began at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Roads were blocked with traffic around Lytham, such was the size of the crowd. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Hundreds attended the service after a public appeal for the Second World War veteran. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

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Nephew hails 'staggering' funeral for war veteran

The nephew of an old soldier whose funeral was attended by hundreds in response to an online appeal said the occasion was "staggering".

Andrew Colyer-Worsell, one of Harold Jellicoe Percival's few living relatives, said after attending the service: "It's just staggering. It just shows how great the British public are."

Andrew Colyer-Worsell, nephew of Harold Percival, spoke after the funeral service. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Percival died aged 99 at a nursing home, where staff worried no one would be at his funeral to mark his passing.

"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. It's very emotional," said Colyer-Worsell.

"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."

Matron 'overwhelmed' by turnout for war hero's funeral

A nursing home matron who cared for war veteran Harold Jellicoe Percival said she was "overwhelmed" by the amount of well-wishers that turned up to his funeral.

Harold Jellicoe Percival's coffin is carried into Lytham crematorium. Credit: ITV News

Lorraine Holt told mourners at Lytham crematorium: "We believe that every serviceman and woman should be recognised, but we certainly didn't expect a turnout like this."

Percival died aged 99 on 25 October without close friends or relatives, but hundreds attended his send-off following an online appeal.

Lorraine Holt said she had been "proud" to look after Percival. Credit: ITV News

"We've never had this before. It's amazing and quite overwhelming," Holt said.

War hero funeral crowd 'surpasses expectations'

The vicar at Harold Jellicoe Percival's funeral told mourners they had "surpassed expectations" by attending the war veteran's send-off in huge numbers.

The Reverend Alan Clark said Percival's funeral could have been attended by no one. Credit: ITV News

"It seemed Harold Jellicoe Percival's funeral would be sparsely attended, if indeed anyone would attend," the Reverend Alan Clark told well-wishers in the packed crematorium.

Hundreds attended Percival's funeral, many of them in military uniform. Credit: ITV News

"But you have come in numbers surpassing anything that was expected. You come not because you knew him, but because each of us are part of each other. We have a common humanity."

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Hundreds attend funeral of war hero

A large crowd of well-wishers has gathered for the funeral of war hero Harold Jellicoe Percival, who died aged 99 with no close friends or relatives.

Hundreds of people who did not know Harold Jellicoe Percival turned up for his funeral. Credit: ITV News
The large turnout for Percival's send-off was prompted by a social media campaign. Credit: ITV News
Percival, who died aged 99, helped with the Dambusters raids during World War II. Credit: ITV News

Tributes to 'lovely' war veteran Harold Percival

A war veteran whose funeral is set to be attended by hundreds of strangers was a "lovely character" who "loved reading his Daily Telegraph every morning".

Harold Jellicoe Percival, 99, who helped with the Dambusters raids during World War II, died last month at a nursing home.

Harold Jellicoe Percival Credit: PA Wire

Janet Wareing, a matron at the care home in Lytham, paid tribute to the veteran:"Harold was a lovely character, very strong-willed and independent.

"He was quite a private man, and he loved reading his Daily Telegraph every morning.

"We have already been contacted by military veterans who are intending to come, even though they have never met him. We've been told one group is looking to bring around 200 people to the service, which would be fantastic."

Appeal for guests at war veteran's funeral goes viral

The funeral of a war veteran who died with no close friends or relatives is expected to be attended by service personnel and military supporters after an appeal went viral online.

Harold Jellicoe Percival, 99, who helped with the Dambusters raids during WWII, died last month in a nursing home.

After the appeal by funeral directors for people to "show support for a war hero" many people took to Twitter and Facebook to share Mr Percival's story.

Funeral directors hoping people will support 'war hero'

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the funeral of a 99-year-old war veteran on Monday after he died without any close friends or family.

Funeral directors Roland L Whitehead and Daughter issued an appeal in a local paper for service personnel to attend his funeral which has gone viral

We're hoping a few faces will turn up and show their support for a war hero.

It doesn't sit well with me that somebody who has served their country can be forgotten about, that his service can go un-noted.

I am sure he would have had a few stories to tell.

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