Ninety-nine-year-old United Kingdom World War II veteran Harold Jellicoe Percival was alone in the world without any close family when he died last month, leaving some to worry he would be buried without anyone even at his funeral.
That’s when Reddit, an online community where users can share links, photos and videos, stepped in.
On Saturday, a user submitted a photo of a small newspaper clipping with the caption, “I feel like Reddit would want to do something about this.”
The newspaper clipping, submitted by a funeral home employee, said that the Royal Air Force veteran was “a single man” who had “no close family” and that “any service personnel who can attend his funeral service would be appreciated.”
The story quickly went viral online, catching the attention of a local newspaper. The Lyntham St Annes Express published a front-page story online over the weekend reiterating the call for people to attend Percival’s funeral, slated for Armistice Day.
Hundreds of servicemen and community members ultimately turned out at the Lytham Park Crematorium, enduring the rain to say farewell to the late World War II veteran.
“It’s just staggering,” the man’s nephew, Andre Collyer-Worsell, told the Lyntham St Annes Express Monday. “It just shows how great the British public are. He was not a hero, he was just someone who did his duty in World War II, just as his brother and sister did and his father before him in World War I.”
“We were expecting a few people, a few local veterans but suddenly it snowballed,” he continued. “It’s the sort of emotional send-off you would want to give any loved one. It’s very emotional.”
According to the Lyntham St Annes Express, attendees were told that Percival was an independent man with a feisty personality who enjoyed reading the paper in the morning.
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