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Hundreds attend soldier’s funeral following social media appeal

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of a former solider following a social media appeal.

Stewart Cooney, aged 95, passed away in a care home in Leeds in June, having outlived his family. He had previously served with the Royal Artillery.

Dougie Eastwood works for the company that runs Mr Cooney’s former care home, Colton Lodges. Mr Eastwood, who served in the Royal Artillery for 25 years, began the appeal after noticing the insignia in Mr Cooney’s care home room. The Yorkshire Evening Post also placed an appeal for mourners.

Mr Eastwood told the BBC: “He outlived his wife and son and died with no family so I got in touch with 269 Royal Artillery based in Leeds and it just went viral.

“I couldn’t see his funeral only attended by a couple of care workers, a social worker and a priest.

“I’m quite happy he’ll go the way an old soldier like him should do.”

The service was at Rawdon Crematorium followed by burial at Pudsey Cemetery.

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