How the community came together to ensure 78-year-old former Royal Marine was not buried alone

Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

There was a fitting send off for a former Royal Marine from Hampshire who died alone at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

78-year-old Ian Campbell, who served on HMS Belfast, kept himself to himself and there was no trace of any family to attend his funeral.

an Campbell (Also known as John Harley) had served in Ireland, Burma, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Credit:

Tours of duty took him to Burma and Malaysia.

Despite few people knowing the veteran, there was a packed service at Portchester Crematorium as comrades ensured Ian Campbell was not forgotten.

  • Watch: why it was important to ensure Ian Campbell did not have a paupers funeral

The call went out for people to join the funeral service on social media and that call was answered.

The message was shared by Gary Weaving of the Forgotten Veterans charity who was contacted by the Queen Alexandra when Ian passed away.

Ian and fellow Royal Marines on the H.M.S. Belfast Credit:

Gary said, "Approximately a month ago the staff at the Queen Alexandra called me in to share their concerns that they didn’t have any forwarding friends or addressing and they wanted to make sure he was given a send off he deserves.

"We felt very strongly as a community and with the help of the Royal Marines Association that we really couldn’t let that happen. We had to see Ian off in the best possible way. Looking around it’s a remarkable turnout and I can’t thank the veterans of Portsmouth and civilians to see this man off in the fashion he deserves."

In his later years, Ian worked as a driver taking people with Alzheimers to a day centre continuing to serve after retiring from national service

  • Former colleagues Debbie Cave and Katie Stares remember Ian Campbell

The funeral ended with the symbolic sound of The Last Post, a final and fitting salute to Ian Campbell.