Harold Percival, World War II Veteran Who Died Without Family, Receives Funeral Attended By Hundreds (PHOTOS)

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HAROLD PERCIVAL
The coffin bearing the body of World War 2 veteran Harold Percival arrives for a funeral service in Lytham, north-west England, on November 11, 2013. Requests appeared in local media for people to attend the funeral of Harold Percival, who died at the age of 99, had no close family members, never married or had any children. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

LONDON -- LONDON (AP) — Hundreds have attended the funeral of a 99-year-old former World War II airman who died without family after a nursing home appealed for strangers to give him a send-off.

Harold Percival died Oct. 25 in Lytham St. Annes, northwest England. The nursing home placed an advertisement in the local newspaper asking military personnel to attend the service.

The ad was taken up on Twitter, and several hundred soldiers, veterans and civilians gathered at a crematorium Monday to pay respects to Percival, who served as ground crew with the Royal Air Force during the war.

The Rev. Alan Clark told mourners they had "come in numbers surpassing anything that was expected. Not because you knew him, but because each of us has a common humanity."

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