Sunday, 10 November 2013

Thank you Harold.

It's usually stories about animals and children that bring me to tears when reading the newspapers online. Whether it be a happy ending, or some terribly sad unspeakable act of cruelty, or an account of accidental tragedy, the end result is always blurred vision and having to remove my specs to wipe my eyes before I can do anything else. I am a sentimental old fart I know.

This morning I clicked on a headline to read more, and as the story unfolded I completely lost it. Turn on the waterworks, big time. It was a simple story, elderly gent aged 99 dies in nursing home, he has never married and has no family of his own. An advert was placed in his local paper asking for people to come to his funeral, especially service personnel. This is the full story in the Mail.

It turns out that Harold Jellico Percival, what a fabulous name, was a war hero who served as ground crew with RAF Bomber Command. He helped with the famous Dambusters Raid during the second world war.

Sgt Rick Clement, an injured serviceman who lost his legs while serving in Afghanistan, spotted the story, it seemed that there would be no one to attend Harold's funeral. He spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, and it was quickly picked up and shared by thousands of other people. This is what he posted. It has been shared 30,000 times.

If it wasn't for the internet, Harold might have had a very quiet send off, now it seems that the whole of Blackpool and Lytham St Annes will turn out to pay their respects. And quite rightly so. His funeral service and cremation will take place at Lytham Crematorium tomorrow, the 11th of November, at 11am. Sorry I can't be there Harold, but I will be thinking about you, and observing the two minutes silence for all our war hero's.

Catch you tomorrow. xxx

20 comments:

  1. What a story, sad though that so many turn up for his funeral, company in life would have been better. Not anyone's fault if they don't know about him. I shall read the full account later.
    Best wishes,
    Angela

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  2. I read this article too and found it very moving, like your good self. Hoping he gets the send off he deserves tomorrow. It sounds like he will.

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  3. While this guy is very special, He is by no means unique in his situation. Anyone who is looking for a spot of "giving back" could do worse than visit their nearest retirment/ nursing home and offer to be a befriender. It will be time well spent.
    thanks for highlighting this story, I would have missed it otherwise
    Gill

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  4. What a lovely story, am sharing it to my fbk page now. Hope this gets National Coverage on the telly 2mrw, we should never forget our heros.

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  5. I have been watching the World at War series on tv with fascination. I can't believe the extent to which Europe was occupied and how very close we were to being a very different country to the free existence we have now. If it wasn't for those brave men and women, so many of whom gave their lives, where would we be now? I am eternally grateful and read this story with tears in my eyes. May they never be forgotten.Louise

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  6. What a lovely story and a nice ending.

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  7. I read this online too and have been telling our friends about it. Perhaps it will make folks think about honouring the elderly in their lifetimes, something quite small can make such a difference. Frugal in Derbyshire hit it just right.

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  8. I retweeted that story when it first appeared on twitter, and was sure there would be this kind of wonderful response. Sometimes "social media" really IS a powerful tool for good!

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  9. I heard about it on the radio this morning and felt so sad. We must all have lonely elderly people living nearby and could spare them a little time.

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  10. R.I.P. Harold Percival. Thank you to all the brave men and women that serve our countries and keep us safe.

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  11. I saw this on Facebook yesterday and thought about how sad it was. The funeral directors were very caring to word the death announcement like that to encourage people to go to the funeral.

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  12. A sad story with a happy ending! This is the week when we thank and honor all who have served our countries, and your post is a beautiful reminder.

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  13. I heard of this story. It is indeed very sad but the truth is this happens a lot. Thank God for the people that visit the elderly in their homes or their care homes and make sure they are not alone.

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  14. So sad! I'm glad Hatold is getting a decent send off but I hope that those who attend think about what they can do for the living. Something that needs more than a couple of hours out of their life, once. Like making regular contact with an elderly neighbour.

    Ilona, you've made me reflect on how I could be more generous of spirit.

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  15. A lovely story and just when you think the Internet is all bad, something like that happens to restore your faith in those acts of kindness.

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  16. We saw this on our TV news last night and it was reported 200+ people attended his funeral. If I lived nearby I would of been one of them!
    Nancy from Northern California

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