Old soldiers rally to funeral appeal

MORE than 200 strangers turned up to show their respects to a former Royal Marine yesterday, after news of his death spread around the world.

When Albert Vaughan, 89, died, staff at his care home feared they would be the only ones at the burial.

Chris Homer, manager of the Marmion Nursing Home in Tamworth, Staffordshire, emailed the National Ex-Services Association, who launched an online campaign appealing for people to attend.

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Mr Vaughan had been awarded a British Empire Medal (Military Division) in the King’s Birthday Honour’s List in 1945 on account of his bravery in the Second World War. After the funeral his beret and cap badge were passed onto his grandsons Darren and Justin Croot, who attended the funeral with their aunt Josie Hayes.

Ms Hayes said: “It’s a real tribute to Albert.”

The Rev Vic Van Den Bergh, who conducted the funeral, said: “It’s certainly one of the biggest services that I have ever been part of. It was our last chance to say goodbye to Albert, so it’s great that we did it properly.”

A lone bugler from the Royal Marines played the Last Post before mourners held a minute’s silence at the end of the service.