Norfolk

Ormesby veteran Reginald Watson given fitting service after social media plea

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Media captionOrmesby veteran Reginald Watson given fitting service after social media plea

More than 100 people attended the funeral of a Second World War veteran who died with no living family.

Reginald Watson, who served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, died on 23 November aged 90.

The Reverend Mandy Bishop, of Ormesby St Margaret, Norfolk, made a social media plea for mourners to attend his funeral after learning that he faced a pauper's service.

She said she was "overwhelmed" by the response.

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Ms Bishop organised the funeral and burial and posted details on Facebook.

During the service, at St Margaret's Church in the village, she described Mr Watson as a "quiet, unassuming" man.

She said he had treasured his army certificate of service book and was a "perfect gentleman".

Image copyright PA
Image caption A Facebook appeal was set up to ensure Mr Watson did not have a pauper's funeral and burial in an unmarked grave

Mr Watson enlisted in Norwich in January 1945 at the age of 18. He was initially in the General Service Corps and then in the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

He served his country until 1948.

The funeral saw Royal British Legion standard-bearers line the path from the hearse to the church and bagpipes played.

Mr Watson's neighbour, Ernie Brown, told of his memories of "Reggie" before The Last Post was played.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Reverend Mandy Bishop described Mr Watson as a "perfect gentleman"

Roy Medcalf, 76, of Smallburgh, attended the service after he saw details posted on Facebook.

He said: "You can't let an old soldier go on his own.

"They may fade away but they're never forgotten."

Mr Watson lived in the same house in Ormesby St Margaret, near Great Yarmouth, almost all of his life.

He spent his final six months at Carlton Court Hospital at Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft.

During his lifetime, Mr Watson worked on farms and at a corn grinding mill.

Ms Bishop said he never complained, despite his treatment for cancer.

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