A former Royal Marine who had no close remaining friends or family has been spared a lonely funeral after an enterprising vicar issued a plea on Facebook to invite some last minute well-wishers.
The call was answered by over 200 strangers who braved plummeting temperatures to pay their last respects to James McConnell, who passed away in his Southsea care home last month, aged 70.
The service saw ultimately attended by the Royal marines Association which organised a tribute led by Royal British Legion standard bearers and a group of flag waving motorcycles.
Two buglers from the Royal Marines Band Service were also on hand to play Last Post.
Rev Bob Mason said in his sermon: “The great majority of you who have come here today did not know James McConnell but wanted him to have a dignified farewell.
“I thank you for that kindness and generosity of spirit.”