Harold Jellicoe Percival

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Harold Jellicoe Percival

Postby SimonK123 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:06 pm

I was privileged today to pay my respects to Harold at his funeral in Lytham St Annes.

The funeral directors thought there would be very few people at the funeral so they placed a notice in the local paper

I arrived at the gates of the Crematorium at 11 o'clock just as the Last Post was sounding. I, with many others, arrived late due to the increased traffic around the entrance road.

The crematorium holds about 100 and there must have been 400+ outside. There was a very wide range of people attending, Many service personnel from senior RAF officers, Officer Cadets from the Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron and the Combined Cadet Force from Kirkham Grammar School to bikers, students from the local arts college and many local people from Lytham St Annes and Blackpool and over the North West.

The British Legion were there in force, I was too late to see their standards on parade but there were at least 6 or 7 spotted as they came out of the Crematorium.

I spoke to a policeman on duty and he said that this was the biggest turnout he had ever seen at the Crematorium, this was confirmed by the local area sergeant.

According to the news, Harold served in 617 Squadron as ground crew. If he joined up early in the war he must have served on other squadrons as well, as 617 was only formed in 1943.

These were the men who repaired and serviced aircraft in all weathers out in the dispersal areas and on whom the lives of the aircrews depended. They often served on the same squadron or airfield throughout the war and of course saw many of their aircraft and crews go missing. They were not included for the recent award of the Bomber Command clasp which is going to aircrew and their families only.

This sad occasion not only demonstrates the power of social media but confirms the view that many people still appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of those who fought in war and particularly those in Bomber Command. Altogether a very poignant day

We will remember them.
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