Lonely Obituary Draws Hundreds to WWII Vet's Funeral
Harold Jellicoe Percival never married or had kids
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2013 12:00 PM CST
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(Newser) – WWII veteran Harold Jellicoe Percival died last month at age 99, leaving no close family behind. So the funeral home organizing his service put a note in the UK man's obituary asking that "any service personnel who can" come to the funeral today, the BBC reports. The obituary went viral on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, Gawker reports, and hundreds of people showed up at the service. Since 100 people packed the crematorium, 400 more stood outside, despite the rain.

The family members who were able to attend the funeral (a nephew, great-nephew, and great-niece, per the BBC) expressed their gratitude. "He was a quiet man, he was an ordinary man who did his duty and served in the war and to see so many people turn up, it's just overwhelming," said the nephew. Another nephew, who could not attend, called his uncle "a private man" who led a "nomadic" life, including backpacking through England and living in Australia and New Zealand. He never married or had children. You can see his obit on Twitter.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Kaycee Andersen
Nov 11, 2013 4:53 PM CST
I cannot help but think of how even MORE meaningful it would have been to this old soldier if as many people had been there for him when he was alive. But wonderful of people to show up and honor him in death nonetheless.
Jamesd.
Nov 11, 2013 3:08 PM CST
How cool is that? Blessings and gratitude to all those who showed up. May he RIP!
onemanonewoman
Nov 11, 2013 1:23 PM CST
It is far better that people visit the veterans and lonely people while they are alive, and show the love and gratitude that Jesus desires for all people.