Hundreds of mourners are expected to attend the funeral of a Fylde war veteran who died with little or no family to attend his service.
The Express revealed last week how war hero Sidney Marshall, 90, of Caryl Road, St Annes, died with no family living locally.
Mr Marshall, who served in 9 Squadron as a gunner, took part in 28 sorties across Germany during the Second World War.
After undertaker Eddie Jacobs, of Fylde funeral directors Roland Whitehead and Daughter, urged service personnel past and present to attend the ceremony this Friday, veterans have promised to turn out in force.
Coun Ed Nash, Fylde Council Armed Forces member said: “I’ve spoken with standard bearers and they are all coming down.
“I’ve even been contacted by a sergeant from an RAF station in Suffolk who wants to bring men up on Friday.
“There will be a pretty good turnout, with people travelling from all over the UK for the service.”
MrMarshall (pictured) was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for helping guide his Lancaster Bomber to safety following a raid on Bergen, Germany, when the plane was attacked by Focke-Wulf fighters.
The bomber’s guns were paralysed, but Sidney managed to communicate with the pilot via radio, helping him dodge further fire.
He was also instrumental in the attack which sank The Tirpitz, a 42,900-ton Bismarck-class battleship built for Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine, in November 1944.
Darrell Slater-Smith, northern area director for the RAF Association, said: “We are trying to encourage as many people as possible to attend Sidney’s funeral.
“I’m always saddened to hear of someone who gave so much for his country dying with no one to pay the proper respects.
“Members of the RAF Association will join other mourners.”
Mr Marshall’s story has echoes of last year’s call to honour Harold Jellicoe Percival, whose funeral was attended by more than 500 people on Remembrance Day at Lytham Crematorium.
His story, following an obituary notice placed in the Lytham St Annes Express, created headlines around the world.
St Annes undertaker Eddie Jacobs is now asking for Armed Forces personnel past and present – together with members of the public – to attend Mr Marshall’s funeral at Lytham Park Crematorium.
He said: “He is a complete hero in my eyes.
“Can you imagine as a 21-year-old taking off in a Lancaster loaded with fuel and 2,000lbs of bombs? It does not bear thinking about.”
The service will be held at Lytham Park Crematorium from 1.30pm tomorrow.
Donations can be made to the RAF Benevolent Fund, c/o Roland L.Whitehead and Daughter at the funeral directors in East Bank Road, St Annes, FY8 1ND.