This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

London • Hundreds have attended the funeral of a 99-year-old former World War II airman who died without family after a nursing home appealed for strangers to give him a send-off.

Harold Percival died Oct. 25 in Lytham St. Annes, northwest England. The nursing home placed an advertisement in the local newspaper asking military personnel to attend the service.

The ad was taken up on Twitter, and several hundred soldiers, veterans and civilians gathered at a crematorium Monday to pay respects to Percival, who served as ground crew with the Royal Air Force during the war.

The Rev. Alan Clark told mourners they had "come in numbers surpassing anything that was expected. Not because you knew him, but because each of us has a common humanity."

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