A 90-year-old Royal Navy veteran was expected to have a small funeral, with no living relatives and few friends who are still alive.
However, after Cambridge News reported that there was no-one who could attend John Leonard Baldwin’s funeral, many locals rallied around to make an attendance at the service.
A public notice was also put on the Veterans Honoured Facebook site to appeal for other veterans and members of the public to turn up at Cambridge Crematorium on May 3rd at 14:30.
Mr Baldwin’s one long-term friend Angela O’Sullivan told the news provider there has been such unprecedented interest in the funeral, it has been moved from the east chapel to the west one, which has a greater capacity.
She said: “Representatives from the Royal Navy all want to make sure John is honoured in the same way that he gave 22 years of his life to his country.”
Ms O’Sullivan added that John did not have any family other than his late wife who died from Parkinson’s disease.
Mr Baldwin passed away on April 19th this year, and had previously asked for his brain to be donated to Parkinson’s research in honour of his wife.
Angela, who supports people with dementia, remarked: “If he knew about the response we’ve had to his send off, he’d be smiling down at all of us.”
Many Cambridge locals were clearly so inspired by John’s commitment to his country that they chose to attend the service, showing just how important a send-off is to the deceased and those they have left behind – no matter how few.
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