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R.I.P Harold

Discussion in 'Book of condolence' started by John A Silkstone, Nov 9, 2013.


  1. John A Silkstone United Kingdom

    John A Silkstone General MI.Net Member

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    Hundreds of people are expected to attend a funeral of a war veteran they never knew after it emerged he died with no close friends or relatives.

    Harold Jellicoe Percival served as RAF ground crew and helped with the famous Dambusters raids during the Second World War.

    He died last month aged 99 in a nursing home.

    Mr Percival's funeral will be held at 11am on Armistice Day at a crematorium in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire.

    The veteran never married, had no children and has no close family members able to go to the service.
    But after publicity in local newspapers and social media, funeral directors say they are now hoping for a good turnout.

    The RAF Association tweeted that its "Northern area will be in attendance" so Mr Percival "won't be alone".

    Afghanistan veteran Rick Clement, who lost both legs in 2010, has been using Twitter and Facebook to urge people to turn up to pay their respects. "Need a big favour from any military or ex serving members. This fallen soldier at 99 years old is having a funeral on Monday," he said. "It says he has no family to attend in Lytham St Anne's. If your in the area can you give him the send off he deserves."

    He later thanked all those who had supported the appeal, saying: "Harold is going to get an amazing send off."

    Comedian Jason Manford has also got behind the campaign.

    Mr Percival lived in Penge, south London, before joining the RAF.

    He was based in northwest England and became part of the ground crew which helped the Dambusters, the squadron which was initially formed to destroy dams in the Ruhr valley in Nazi Germany.

    After working in Australia, he later retired to England and lived at a care home in Lytham St Annes.

    Matron Janet Wareing said: "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."

    Mr Percival does have a nephew, David Worsell, but he is not able to attend so his son - Mr Percival's great nephew - will represent the family.

    He was a distant relative of former British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, the only PM to have ever been assassinated.

    R.I.P Harold

    Silky
     
  2. Bombardier

    Bombardier Admin & Arbiter Staff Member Site Admin

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    R.I.P Harold you will never be forgotten
     
  3. John A Silkstone United Kingdom

    John A Silkstone General MI.Net Member

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    Two thousand people have turned up to mark the funeral of a World War Two veteran who died with no close relatives or friends.

    An internet campaign was launched after a Lancashire funeral director advertised the service for Harold Jellicoe Percival in a local newspaper.

    Mr Percival died aged 99 last month in a nursing home. He had never married, had no children, outlived his siblings and was described as "a solitary man".

    He served during the Second World War with RAF Bomber Command and worked as ground crew for the famous Dambuster Squadron.

    He left the RAF after the war and led a nomadic lifestyle.
    The chapel at Lytham Park Crematorium was packed for his funeral service and several hundred more people stood outside in the rain.

    Funeral director Dawn Whitehead-Brown said: "It is humbling and heartwarming to see so many people who never knew this man turn up here to pay their respects.

    "We had no idea what kind of response we would get when we put the ad in the paper ... but to see this turnout is unbelievable."

    Many serving and former servicemen and women attended the funeral held on Armistice Day.
    It began as a two-minute silence heralded by a bugler sounded the Last Post at 11am.

    Mr Percival's nephew, Andrew Collier-Worsell, said the response from members of the public was "outstanding".
    "It is just remarkable to see so many people turn up ... strangers ... people who never knew him in his life," he said.
    "I think if he'd known, he'd have been sheltering around the corner, hiding from it all. "He wasn't a very public man. He was a private man, a solitary loner. "I think it shows there is a deep feeling for the veterans and the service they put in."

    silky
     
  4. Bombardier

    Bombardier Admin & Arbiter Staff Member Site Admin

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    They certainly do!
     
  5. Newman

    Newman Corporal MI.Net Member

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    RIP Harold so glad you were not forgotten and hope you never will be. Regards Bill
     

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