Mourners attend funeral after Facebook appeal

An ex-serviceman’s funeral was attended by more than 200 people thanks to an appeal for mourners on a social networking site.

When James McConnell passed away at the age of 70 last month, staff at his Southsea care home were concerned they would be the only people in attendance.

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Subsequently, Mr McConnell’s funeral details were shared on Facebook, which garnered the sizeable congregation for his goodbye.

Royal British Legion standard bearers led a small procession through the cemetery followed by a group of flag-bearing motorcyclists. The service concluded with two buglers from the Royal Marines Band Service playing the Last Post.

Addressing the congregation, Reverend Bob Mason said: “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.”

Danny Marshall, a former Royal Marine, added: “It was mentioned wrongly that he did not have family; the corps family is bigger and better than most people would know about.

“We are all family and always will be.”

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