Cornwall

Sixty strangers attend man's funeral in Redruth

Coffin being carried
Image caption Terence Filer's funeral was well attended despite him having no living friends or relatives

About 60 strangers turned up to the funeral of a man they had never met after an appeal from the vicar.

Terence Filer, 85, died at St Martin's House Care Home in Camborne, Cornwall on 2 January.

The funeral directors and Cornwall Council attempted to find people who knew him but with no success.

This prompted the vicar to appeal for people to attend his funeral in Redruth.

Rev Caspar Bush said it was unusual.

"On the form from the funeral directors it said 'this man had no friends or relatives, and nothing is known of his life'," he said.

"It just struck me as incredibly sad so thought we ought to try and do something to try and give him a good send off."

Image caption A local company donated 75 pasties for the wake

After some investigation, it was discovered Mr Filer lived in Newquay for a time and had learning difficulties.

It is also thought he hailed from Bristol but had no known next of kin or close friends to mourn his death.

The only possessions passed to the funeral director was an ice-cream tub full of more than 50 American style belt buckles.

For this reason Rev Bush chose the John Denver's song 'Take Me Home Country Roads' to be part of the service.

Image caption Guests attended the funeral from across Cornwall
Image copyright Cornwall Funeral Services
Image caption Little was known of Terence Filer who left a collection of American-style belt buckles

One of the guests who attended, called Ann, said: "Even if he never married or had children he was still somebody's son, somebody's grandson.

"What if they were looking down thinking nobody even saw his passing."

As well as 60 guests from across Cornwall, a local business also donated 75 pasties so a wake could be held in the church afterwards.

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