Response joy to funeral appeal

Sidney Marshall
Sidney Marshall
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Calls to commemorate a Fylde coast war hero have already seen a funeral director inundated with calls of support just hours after an appeal was first published.

As reported in yesterday’s Gazette, an impassioned plea has been made for mourners to attend the funeral of former RAF serviceman Sidney Marshall, who took part in the D-Day landings.

The appeal was made by Eddie Jacobs, from Roland L. Whitehead and Daughter funeral directors, in St Annes.

The company had already received more than a dozen calls from various veterans associations yesterday morning, as well as offers to sing at Mr Marshall’s funeral.

Mr Jacobs said: “Thanks very much for your support.

“It just shows the respect that people have for what these chaps did for us and restores your faith in human nature.

“Certainly the calls are coming in.”

Mr Marshall, 90, died at home in Caryl Road, St Annes, on June 16, and has few relatives who will be able to attend his funeral.

The story has echoes of last year’s call to honour Harold Jellicoe Percival, another former RAF veteran, whose funeral was attended by more than 500 people on Remembrance Day at Lytham Crematorium.

His tale, following an obituary notice placed in the Lytham St Annes Express, created headlines around the world – the story stretching from the Fylde coast to New Zealand, Los Angeles and the Caribbean.