His death at 99, one of the last survivors of successful British battles of World War II, might have been a lonely service in an almost empty chapel. His friends were all gone and he had no children.
It seemed there would be no one to mourn Harold Jellicoe Percival except a handful of nursing home staff and a distant relative or two.
But on Monday, after a newspaper appeal led to an internet campaign highlighting the forgotten war veteran, hundreds of people who never knew him came to pay their respects at his funeral – poignantly held at 11am on Armistice Day, 11/11 (now Veterans Day in the US).
“We just wanted a handful of service members to be present,” said the funeral director who placed the ad. “It’s turned into something far more than we ever imagined.”
The small chapel was bursting at the seams with veterans wearing their medals, with hundreds having to wait in the rain. All brought special meaning to the Armistice Day moment of silence, a pledge to never forget.
(WATCH the video below or READ the story from the Daily Mail)