World News

Hundreds Answer Call to Honor British Veteran

Hundreds of Britons took the message of Veterans Day to heart and attended the funeral of a World War II veteran they never knew.

When Harold Jellicoe Percival died October 25 at a nursing home at age 99, the funeral home placed an advertisement in the local newspaper asking military personnel to attend the service, so that his passing would not go unmarked.

The ad went viral on the Internet, and on Monday hundreds of soldiers, veterans and civilians gathered to pay respect to Percival, who served as ground crew with the Royal Air Force Bomber Command during the war. Scores of people who could not fit inside the chapel stood outside in the rain.

Monday is the anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. The funeral began at 11 a.m., 95 years to the hour after the 1918 armistice.



Mourners observed a two-minute silence before Percival's coffin, draped in a Royal Air Force flag, was carried into the crematorium chapel to the strains of the "Dambusters March.''

Percival worked as ground crew for the squadron that carried out a daring raid on German dams in 1943.

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