UK

Sidney Marshall Funeral: Emotional Appeal For Mourners To Attend Service For WWII Veteran Who Died Alone

27/06/2014 15:54 BST | Updated 27/06/2014 15:59 BST

An undertaker has made an emotional appeal for mourners to attend the funeral of a former RAF serviceman who took part in the D-Day landings and died alone.

Sidney Marshall, 90, died at home in Caryl Road, St Annes, on June 16. The former Rear Gunner has few relatives, if any, to attend his service.

Undertaker Eddie Jacobs, 72, has highlighted the veteran's heart-rending case and said he fears that the World War Two hero won’t get the send-off he deserves.

He is now asking for Armed Forces personnel – past and present – together with members of the public, to attend Mr Marshall’s funeral at Lytham Park Crematorium on Friday, July 4.

Mr Jacobs told the Blackpool Gazette Mr Marshall was "a complete hero."

“I am 72 now and can remember when I lived in Crewe as a boy hiding under the table when the bombing raids took place at the nearby Rolls Royce factory. Sid was out there protecting us.

“He should get recognition for what he has done.”

Mr Marshall's story echoes Harold Jellicoe Percival's whose story, following an obituary notice placed in the Lytham St Annes Express, created headlines around the world.

Thanks to the power of an emotional appeal and social media hundreds of people attended the funeral of a man they never knew after it emerged he died with no close friends or relatives.

Now, Sgt Rick Clement who suffered devastating injuries after stepping on an explosive device planted by insurgents in Afghanistan, has led the calls for members of the public to help celebrate the life of Mr Marshall.

He said it’s crucial to remember any serviceman "but this guy seems to be a little bit of a legend."

"I just want to get as many people down there as possible.”

Mr Jacobs said the funeral was moved to July 4, Independence Day, to recognise Mr Marshall’s efforts in preserving the UK’s freedom.

The service will be held at Lytham Park Crematorium at 1.30pm.