Hundreds Attend Lonely Veteran's Funeral After Sad Obit Goes Viral
World War II vet Harold Jellicoe "Coe" Percival passed away peacefully in his sleep last month at the age of 99. According to his obituary, Harold had "no close family who can attend his funeral."
Enter: The Internet.
After a scan of the former RAF Bomber Command ground crew member obituary appeared online last week, many took special note of the sentence asking for "any service personnel who can" to kindly attend his funeral, which was scheduled for this morning at 11 AM Blackpool time.
A call to action soon coalesced as the obit made its way around Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.
"If you're in the area give him the send off he deserves," asked Sgt. Rick Clement, an Afghanistan War vet who was wounded in the line of duty. "This guy needs and deserves your help."
Sgt. Clement's plea was heeded, and hundreds ignored the rain to attend Harold's funeral at the Lytham Park Crematorium:
The large crowd gathered for Harold Percival's funeral at Lytham Crematorium #lytham #lancashire pic.twitter.com/Ps0ZbQqm7v— Steve Becker (@SteveBeckerHack) November 11, 2013
Crowds gather for the funeral in Lytham of Harold Percival #lytham pic.twitter.com/p3HfWbjhgW— Steve Becker (@SteveBeckerHack) November 11, 2013
RAF standard bearers prepare for the arrival of Harold Percival's coffin at Lytham Crematorium #lytham pic.twitter.com/vXTxNfJCfh— Steve Becker (@SteveBeckerHack) November 11, 2013
Harold Percival's funeral in Lytham. Mourners young and old. pic.twitter.com/fERb5u43KW— Nick Garnett (@nicholasgarnett) November 11, 2013
The Dambusters theme plays as Harold Jellicoe Percival's coffin is carried into the chapel. Crowd of 300+. pic.twitter.com/ofXZH2Xfiv— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) November 11, 2013