A warrior’s sendoff

Charles Cowling



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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Rob DrinkallDavid HolmesCharles CowlingKathryn EdwardsNick Gandon Recent comment authors

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David Holmes

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!

Kathryn Edwards
Kathryn Edwards

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


Nick Gandon

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.