The Funeral Of Harold Jellicoe Percival Makes Many Remember
He died age 99.
He never married. He had no children.
So. The nurses and staff at Alistre Lodge Nursing Home in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, where he died, placed an advert calling for people to attend his funeral (above). Like many others, we spotted it.
Nursing home manager Lorraine Holt tells BBC:
“Late last night we had a call from a soldier on leave from Afghanistan who said he wanted to attend. Then an 80-year-old lady from London who served in the RAF called us to say she was attending. The response has been absolutely incredible. Our local police have been in touch asking if we need any traffic control on the day of his funeral after hearing how many people are due to attend. We’re going to open the nursing home for anybody who wants to come after the service, but I’m not sure how we’ll cope with so many people.”
Davis Boothman, secretary for the RAF Association Leyland branch, adds: “We normally do try and make a showing at these times. It is important that we remember people like Harold – they are part of us.”
Mr Percival’s great-nephew and great-niece will be at his funeral. His nephew lives in Australia. He’s called David Worsell. He can’t make it. He says:
“He worked in Australia for a number of years as a decorator and would visit England for holidays. He travelled around England with only his backpack. He didn’t have a postal address – he just used to get everything sent to my mother’s address and would go through it when they met up. He lived with us on and off in Australia and New Zealand. He loved cricket and taught my son how to spin bowl…
“I managed to trace him six months ago and sent him photos of when he lived with us. We always had a Coe’s (Harold Jellicoe Percival) room wherever we lived as he could turn up at any time.”
Shame he couldn’t make it.