The Good Funeral Guide Blog

A warrior’s sendoff

Saturday, 9 November 2013

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It all started with an announcement in the Blackpool Gazette (above). 

Then it was taken up by Sgt Rick Clement of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. Rick lost both of his legs to an IED in Afghanistan. He runs a fundraising website “in order to give something back to the various charities that have helped me and my family on the road to recovery.

Rick put a message on his Facebook page echoing the call for people to attend the funeral of Harold Jellicoe ‘Coe’ Percival, who served in RAF Bomber Command as ground crew in world war two and thereafter led a nomadic life, much of it in Australia, before somehow ending up in Blackpool. He never married. All family ties had dissolved. 

The Facebook appeal went viral and was shared by comedian Jason Manford. It now looks as if there’s going to be a terrific attendance at Mr Percival’s funeral, which is scheduled for 12 midday on Monday (11.11). 

Well done to Mr Clement’s undertaker, Roland Whitehead and Daughter, for  their original announcement. And a big thank you from the GFG to the funeral worker in Blackpool who was kind enough to ring us up and tell us about this. 

Full story here

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5 comments on “A warrior’s sendoff

  1. Tuesday 12th November 2013 at 9:06 am

    I had a terrible day yesterday, personally. It was depressing and frustrating, I felt terribly tired and low from wake up to bedtime, it was certainly one to forget.

    This story and the TV images were the only bright spot, I actually felt emotional. This was humanity at its very best. Well done all, you saved my day!

  2. Monday 11th November 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I see that the Lytham Community Choir sang at the funeral. Good to see local choralists singing at a funeral.

    • Sunday 24th November 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Frederick Henry Vickers is buried in Lytham St. Annes cemetéry. He died at the grand old age of 88. Behind his grave is another for the “Davy” Family. They all appear to have experienced deaths at a young age. Does anyone know the Davy Family? The brother of Frederick Vickers was called Alan Vickers. He emigrated from Blackpool to live in California after the end of the second World war. Alan Vickers lived in Downey, California, the same town famed by the Carpenters. Strangely enough Frederick Vickers died 24 hours before the divorce from his second wife was complete. The grandson of Frederick Vickers is Robin Drinkall, famed for the book Lancashire Hotpot.

  3. Kathryn Edwards

    Monday 11th November 2013 at 2:54 pm

    And on the day, a family-member was present, after all. Seems this is a story with many layers.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/11/crowds-mourn-percival-war-veteran

  4. Sunday 10th November 2013 at 10:16 am

    Living in Blackpool, this is actually the first that I have heard of this funeral …. you hear it first on the GFG Blog!

    I’m very pleased to hear that young Mr Percival is in the very capable care of Roland’s daughter, Dawn, and her colleagues. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that they have gone the “extra mile” to make this a less lonely farewell.

    Roland, who is sadly no longer with us, would have been so proud – it’s exactly what he would have done.

    -Nick

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