© Daily Mail
Members of the Royal British Legion standard bearers escorted the hearse into the crematorium and his Union Jack-draped coffin was carried in by pall bearers
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of a Second World War RAF veteran who died with no living relatives after an online appeal went viral.
Crowds poured into the service held yesterday for Leonard John King who died aged 94 in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
© Daily Mail
Crowds poured into the service held for Leonard John King who died aged 94. Mr King served in the RAF’s No 23 Squadron and flew a de Havilland Mosquito during the war (left)
Members of the Royal British Legion standard bearers escorted the hearse into the crematorium and his Union Jack-draped coffin was carried in by pall bearers.
A bugler also attended, along with locals, bikers and other uniformed mourners.
Mr King served in the RAF’s No 23 Squadron and flew a de Havilland Mosquito during the war.
© Daily Mail
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of Second World War RAF veteran Mr King, who died with no living relatives after an online appeal went viral
After the conflict he never married or had children, setting up an electronics company with a fellow RAF serviceman, where he invented a device that allowed deep sea divers to communicate.
Michele Turner-Everett, the divisional secretary of Southend and Rochford SSAFA, said: ‘It is incredibly sad when a veteran dies with no friends or family to celebrate their life and service to our country.
© Daily Mail
Crowds poured into the service held for Leonard John King who died aged 94. Mr King served in the RAF’s No 23 Squadron and flew a de Havilland Mosquito during the war
‘After hearing about the funeral for RAF veteran Leonard John King, SSAFA Southend arranged for a bugler and flag bearer to attend to ensure our respects were paid to this brave man.
‘We were honoured to be able to help ensure Mr King had a fitting celebration of his life.’
© Daily Mail
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, asked people if they could attend the funeral after an appeal by his carer was posted online
Speaking before yesterday’s service in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, his carer Karen Tuck, said: ‘This brave man lived in his house alone until four weeks before his death.
‘He had no family or real friends to speak of.
I was his carer for many years and have put together a funeral for him.
© Daily Mail
Mr King was given a fitting send off
‘I’m trying to get as many people to come show our respects to this great man as possible.’
She added: ‘If anyone could attend his final farewell it would be lovely. He was a very special man.’
Slideshow: World War II in 100 powerful pictures (Provided by Microsoft GES)
German railroad low loaders with new tanks on the way to the Eastern Front in 1943.
Hitler legitimates the military aggression against Poland in his speech at the Kroll Opera House in 1939.
British children evacuated from an unidentified location on Sept. 1, 1939.
New addresses of people whose houses were destroyed during bombing scribbled outside a ruined house in Germany in 1944.
Jews are deported in open cattle carriages in Warsaw, circa 1944.
French singer Édith Piaf visits a prisoner-of-war camp in 1943.
Detonation of the atomic bomb over Nagasaki.
An aerial photograph of Hiroshima, shortly after the ‘Little Boy’ atomic bomb was dropped in 1945.
Free City of Danzig, a semi-autonomous city-state which was in existence between 1920 and 1939, as seen on Aug. 29, 1939.
A German soldier in 1940.
A motorcyclist of the 1st Canadian Reconnaissance Squadron enjoys a cup of tea during an break in the day’s work in 1940.
A German watch column in Paris, France, circa 1940.
Newspaper seller in London with banner declaring the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
Chinese soldiers marching toward the Salween front during the Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian Theater of World War II in 1943.
A boy holding a stuffed toy animal amid ruins following German aerial bombing of London in 1940.
Grenadiers of the Waffen-SS carrying artillery grenades in 1944.
German submarine in the polar sea in 1942.
A group of people set for evacuation from London in 1939.
A squadron of Germany’s Heinkel He-111 bombers on mission against enemy targets in October 1941.
Piled-up shoes of Holocaust victims in one of the concentration camps.
German troops enter Warsaw in 1939.
Members of a propaganda company within the battle zone report the events during the campaign in Poland in September 1939.
Germans advance toward Kasserine in Tunisia in February 1943.
Russian soldiers captured by Germans during an interrogation in 1943.
German troops positioned in Warsaw, Poland, on Sep. 15, 1939.
A war memorial in Russia in 1942.
Three stricken U.S. battleships — West Virginia (L), Tennessee (C) and Arizona — after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
The destroyed monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy in April 1944.
Jewish prisoners stand in order, circa 1942.
Bombs in a weapons factory in 1940.
A soldier during a meal, pictured in 1943.
Polish Jewish resistance women, captured after the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, in 1943.
Soviet Katyusha rockets on the Eastern Front in 1941.
German navy celebrates Christmas Eve aboard a U-Boat in 1943.
Crew of the Enola Gay, before departing for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.
Field kitchen in a train handing out food to soldiers on Aug. 27, 1943.
Explosion after atomic bombing over Nagasaki in 1945.
A German soldier ducks down during an explosion in Russia in 1942.
Soldiers from the Commonwealth of Nations fighting for Great Britain as prisoners of war on their way to a German compound in 1943.
An F6F Hellcat (VF-2) crash-lands on USS Enterprise’s flight deck in 1943.
The Enola Gay bomber lands back on Tinian island after dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima in 1945.
U.S. troops disembark on Tarawa island in 1943.
German soldiers watching the battle at the Eastern Front unfold at the exit of a bunker on Dec. 23, 1942.
War correspondent and novelist Ernest Hemingway during the war in 1944.
A young Russian after the liberation of Dachau concentration camp in Germany in 1945.
General Charles de Gaulle inspecting the “Free French Naval Forces” in the U.K., 1941.
German soldiers celebrate Christmas in their quarter at the Eastern Front in 1943.
An anti-Hitler demonstration in New York in 1939.
A soldier with a machine gun in a Ukrainian town in 1943.
German anti-aircraft warfare helpers in 1943.
A pro-Hitler rally in Berlin in 1941.
Soldiers on a ship in 1942.
Aerial view of the Ford Island (C) and Ford Airbase after the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor.
Crowds gather at Champs-Élysées Avenue to celebrate the German capitulation at the end of World War II on May 8, 1945.
Hitler inspecting a group of SA (Sturmabteilung) members in Germany in 1939. SA was the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party.
People take shelter in the Piccadilly Circus underground tube station, London in 1940.
German soldiers search Jews for weapons in September 1939.
Allied war ships and planes at Tokyo Bay in Japan in 1945.
A German officer arrested by a U.S. soldier in September 1944.
German prisoners under guard of the 2nd Armored Division of the French general, Philippe Leclerc, in September 1944.
The U.S. warships in Okinawa during the American troop landing in Japan in 1945.
German soldiers douse a fire in 1943.
Members of the German armed force unit, Volkssturm, in 1945.
A German prisoner at the end of the war in 1945.
Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighter planes above the English Channel coast in 1940.
A French “Normandy” tank fording a stream in a combat area in January 1940.
Germany’s dive bombers Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka on mission at the Kandalaksha front in June 1944.
The village of Saint-Lô in France which was completely destroyed by the allied bombings seen on July 14, 1944.
Horia Sima, a Romanian leader of the ‘Iron Guards’ organisation, leaves the organisations headquarter after a commemoration ceremony in Bucharest in 1940. Behind Sima are representatives of the German embassy.
German soldiers on a village road in Russia in 1943.
German prisoners of war in 1942.
A U.S. soldier with a hand grenade during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942.
German submarine on mission in the Atlantic Ocean in 1941.
Victory parade of the Wehrmacht in Warsaw in 1939.
A long-distance reconnaissance and fighter plane Focke-Wulf FW 200 over the Atlantic in August 1943.
A German tank and infantry entering a Soviet village in January 1944.
A German soldier in a camouflage outfit at the eastern front in 1942.
Children take a nap in a day care center in Germany in 1939.
A view of Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
A view of the armaments factory in 1940.
Axis powers’ air attack on Malta in 1942.
Motorized heavy anti-aircraft gun crossing a river in October 1941.
General view of landing crafts by Allied forces in France on June 6, 1944.
German relief troops carry their baggage on sledges in Soviet Union in February 1944.
Allied landing operation at Anzio, Italy, on Jan. 22, 1944.
General Erhard Milch speaking to German Stuka pilots in 1940.
Starved prisoners at a concentration camp in Ebensee, Austria, on May 7, 1945.
A French soldier investigates the pile of footwear belonging to victims near the crematorium at Struthof Concentration Camp near Strasbourg, Alsace, France.
A scene of devastation after the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.
American destroyer USS Shaw explodes during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
The city of Nagasaki after the atomic bombing in 1945.
Concentration camp prisoners after the liberation in May 1945.
The entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp after the liberation in 1945.
A Jewish prisoner in conversation with a soldier.
Prisoners at the Mauthausen concentration camp.
Polish Jewish resistance women and children, captured after the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943.
Detainees of Flossenbürg concentration camp at work in a quarry, circa 1940.
The city of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb strike in 1945.
Soldiers and officers of the Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts meet after managing to open a narrow land corridor in the Siege of Leningrad.
Flag raising on Iwo Jima.