Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 18 July, 2024

Hundreds attend 99-year-old man's funeral after appeal goes viral

Harold Percival died without friends or close family to attend his funeral – so the internet took over.

Lynne Cameron Lynne Cameron

HUNDREDS OF STRANGERS have attended a solitary 99-year-old man’s funeral, after this appeal for mourners went viral.

Here’s what happened: two days ago, a Reddit user spotted this photo of an ad in a local newspaper in Lancashire.

It is a death notice for World War Two veteran Harold ‘Coe’ Percival, who passed away in a local nursing home aged 99 without close friends or family.

Imgur Imgur

The notice appeals for anyone – in particular service personnel – who might be able to attend his funeral, as there would be no relatives there

After being shared on Reddit, the photo made it to the front page of the powerful online community and was viewed thousands of times.

It was also posted on Facebook by UK comedian Jason Manford, who is followed by more than 470,000 people.

As the appeal snowballed, it was featured in the local and national media. Hundreds posted the appeal online, including wounded Afghanistan veteran Sgt Rick Clement who asked Facebook friends to “give [Mr Percival] the send off he deserves”, says the Lytham St Annes Express.

At Mr Percival’s funeral today, roads were blocked with traffic and the crowd spilled out of the crematorium, ITV News reports.

There was spontaneous applause as his coffin was removed from the hearse. Here is the scene as the Last Post was played:

nicholas garnett

Mr Percival served in the UK’s Bomber Command during the war and worked on the ground crew for the famous Dambusters squadron, whose ‘bouncing bomb’ was the subject of the hit film.

Read: Stand-up destroys obnoxious heckler>

This year’s John Lewis Christmas ad may make you cry>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.