Hundreds Of Strangers Turn Out For WWII Veteran’s Funeral
Over 200 people attended a funeral for a World War II veteran yesterday, after the funeral home placed a newspaper ad that went viral. Harold Jellicoe “Coe” Percival died in a nursing home in England at the age of 99 last week, with no close relatives or friends.
The funeral directors placed an ad in the local paper, noting Percival’s lack of family who could attend the funeral, and saying “[a]ny service personnel who could attend his funeral service would be appreciated.” The ad was posted to social media sites like reddit, where thousands heard Percival’s story.
Harold Percival served in the ground crew for the Royal Air Force during the war. He was part of the famous Dambusters squadron, which ran important raids to destroy German dams.
The funeral home told news outlets that they received calls from local choirs, biker groups, and veterans groups, and from as far away as New Zealand.
Later reports stated that Percival did actually have some family. A nephew was unable to attend, but Percival’s grandnephew, David Worsell, represented the family there.
Mr. Worsell said his great-uncle was “a very private person,” and “would be very surprised at the attention.
The funeral took place on Nov. 11, as many countries observed Veterans Day, Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day. Originally commemorating the end of World War I, the day is now used to observe the military service or deaths in many countries.
[via The Independent; image by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images]