Hundreds of people have today attended the funeral of an RAF veteran who died with no known family left to mourn him after a Facebook appeal went viral.
The body of Kenneth White, aged 84, was given a motorbike escort to Cambridge Crematorium and military honours after it emerged that he had no one to attend his funeral.
This morning, hundreds of people who saw the appeal on Facebook and Twitter turned out to pay their respects to the RAF veteran. His coffin was covered with a Union Jack flag and surrounded by military-themed floral wreaths.
Dozens of serving members of the RAF attended, along with veterans from the Royal British Legion and other military charities.
Mark of respect: The body of Kenneth White, aged 84, was given a 150-strong motorbike escort to Cambridge Crematorium after an online social media appeal revealed that he had no known family of friends left to attend his funeral
RAF hero: Hundreds of people attended the funeral of the RAF veteran who died with no known family left to mourn him
Power of social media: After an appeal for people to attend the funeral hundreds gave the former airman a fitting send-off
Remembered: Several groups, including the Royal British Legion, came together to ensure Mr White had a proper send off
Rob Moores, senior funeral services assistant at Dennis Easton Funeral Home in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, said: ‘Everyone has been touched after hearing the story of Kenneth and so many people want to help honour the life of this veteran.’
The 150-strong motor escort met at the Seven Wives pub in St Ives and travelled with Mr White on his journey to be met at the crematorium by an Armed Forces bugler.
The funeral directors confirmed that the interest in Mr White’s story was so great that the service had been moved from the crematorium’s East Chapel to the larger West Chapel.
The news about Mr White went viral on social media after it was posted on a Twitter account called Veterans Honoured.
Wreath: A floral arrangement from a woman and her family thanks Mr White for his service to the country as an RAF veteran
Honour: Hundreds of those who saw the appeal on Facebook and Twitter turned out to pay their respects to the RAF veteran
Patriotic: The funeral directors confirmed that the interest in Mr White’s story was so great that the service had been moved from the crematorium’s East Chapel to the larger West Chapel
Support: It was feared that Mr White, 84, would have no one to honour his death after he passed away with no known relatives
The group says its aim is to ‘highlight veterans’ funerals where no relatives, family or friends are attending, so we may pay our respects’.
A Facebook event set up by the same group said: ‘An RAF veteran called Kenneth White who has sadly passed away without any family in this country at all.
‘If anyone may be able to attend his funeral (which is being arranged by the Council) on 26th March at the East Chapel of Cambridge Crematorium at 09.15hrs, it would be a lovely gesture. Thank you.’
Coming together: Flowers, a wreath and a small collection for a plaque in Kenneth’s memory have been organised
Military themed Flowers: The coffin was draped with the Union Jack flag and he was given full RAF honours
Together: Armed forces representatives teamed up to make sure a Royal Air Force veteran’s final journey was not made alone
Funeral: Mr White lived in Cambridge at the time of his death. Because he had no family, the council supervised the funeral