Army veteran: John Campbell, who served in the Second World War and died without any surviving relatives, had a send-off befitting his heroism after 500 people attended his funeral following an appeal by the Royal British Legion. A 92-year-old army veteran who served in the Second World War and died without any surviving relatives has been given an emotional send off by hundreds of well-wishers. It was feared that no-one would attend the funeral of John Campbell who served with the British Army until 1951 and was acting Major in Burma during the Second World War reports the Daily Mail
However after an appeal by the Royal British Legion, around 500 members of the public arrived at Whitley Bay Crematorium in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, to pay their respects. Mr Campbell served with the Cameron Highlanders and was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry. He was badly injured when battling the Japanese and lost an eye. His hearing was also permanently damaged and he needed surgery on his face. He passed away at North Tyneside General Hospital on March 17, following a four-year stay at Fontburn Court in North Shields, North Tyneside.
Standard bearers, from the Royal British Legion, stood either side of the road as the hearse went into the crematorium. John Cusack, manager of Fontburn Court, was one of the people attending the funeral this afternoon. He enjoyed regular chats with the former soldier during his time at the sheltered accommodation. Mr Cusack said: ‘He was a very nice man, he was quite a gentleman. He would ask people how they were and he was always kind and thoughtful towards the staff here.
‘He was quite a character and he had a great sense of humour.’He was a very talkative person, he would start by talking about this army career then he would be talking about something completely different.’
Mr Cusack believes Mr Campbell to have been married and discovered he was born in 1921.
One attendee said: ‘To see a veteran go to the grave with no recognition at all is wrong. I have taken the afternoon off work to pay my respects to a veteran who deserves it’ Paul Adams, Durham county Rep for the Royal British Legion Bikers Branch, said: ‘To see a veteran go to the grave with no recognition at all is wrong. ‘I have taken the afternoon off work to pay my respects to a veteran who deserves it.’I have never met him but I know from his campaign he had a very hard time. We have short memories and these people often get forgotten about as they get older.
‘I have never met the man and I could not do anything for him while he was alive so attending his funeral is the least I can do for him.’