James “Jimmy” McConnell was 70 years old when he passed away last month at his care home in Southsea, Hampshire. He had no known family and friends outside of the home when he died.
When the local vicar, Reverend Bob Mason, got word of the death — he was worried only the staff and a handful of friends would be present to bid farewell. So the Reverend reached out to the Royal Marines Association and got them to share the news about Jimmy’s funeral.
The Reverend had hopes that maybe long-lost family members might make it to McConnell’s funeral — he was certainly pleased with the results.
After a Royal Marines Association Facebook post went viral on the Internet, over 200 mourners made it out for Jimmy’s final farewell. Even Royal British Legion standard bearers, flag-bearing motorcyclists and two Royal Marines Band buglers who performed the traditional military funeral bugle call “Last Post”, attended the late vet’s funeral, according to Gawker.
This made our hearts feel full to know that so many people would make the effort to pay their respects as they provided company while a man exited this world. The Reverend thanked all the mourners for their kindness and generosity of spirit.
“It was mentioned wrongly that he did not have family,” former Royal Marine Danny Marshall told the BBC, “The corps family is bigger and better than most people would know about. We are all family and always will be.”
We believe Jimmy would be impressed with the turnout at his funeral in Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth.