War Hero receives overwhelming farewell–Thousands show up for a man without close family

November 11, 2013 by Yelin (Christina) Chung
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Courtesy: Nigel Thompson (@4NigelThompson)
Harold Jellicoe “Coe” Percival, a WWII veteran from the United Kingdom, died peacefully on October 25th, 2013, leaving no close family members to attend his funeral.
                The local newspaper that published the obituary stated, “Any service personnel who can attend his funeral service would be appreciated”. Soon after, this obituary was picked up on Twitter, starting from user @middleaged_mom and soon exploding once it was retweeted by user @SimonNRicketts.
                The Blackpool Gazette, Percival’s local paper, also covered the now-trending story of the war hero, urging any and all to attend the funeral, which was to take place on November 11, 2013 at 11am.
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“The Dambusters theme plays as Harold Jellicoe Percival’s coffin is carried into the chapel. Crowd of 300+.” 
Courtesy of Helen Pidd (@HelenPidd)
            At the funeral, which took place in Lytham Park Crematorium in Lytham St. Annes, approximately three hundred people–ranging from service members to civilians– gathered in the rain to pay their respects to Harold. An overwhelming crowd that was filled with mourners both young and old stood and watched the ceremony as the war hero was carried into the chapel.
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Courtesy: Nigel Thompson (@4NigelThompson)
            When asked about the funeral he helped make so public, Simon Ricketts replied, “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the funeral but [I was] delighted so many could”.
            In response to Ricketts, Tom Phillips, a writer at Buzzfeed UK and the author of the original article, said to Ricketts, “And you played a big role in helping make it happen. [It is] A good day at the office.”
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View Buzzfeed article Here
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