Royal British Legion chairman hails ‘fantastic’ Facebook response ahead of Letchworth navy veteran’s Stevenage funeral

Joan Ellis, chairman of the Royal British Legion's Letchworth branch, has thanked the public for the

Joan Ellis, chairman of the Royal British Legion's Letchworth branch, has thanked the public for their response to a Facebook appeal concerning the funeral of a Letchworth navy veteran. - Credit: Archant

The chairman of the Royal British Legion’s Letchworth branch has hailed a ‘fantastic’ response after a Facebook appeal calling on the public to attend a navy veteran’s funeral.

Kenneth Price's post appealing for the public to attend a Letchworth navy veteran's funeral has been

Kenneth Price's post appealing for the public to attend a Letchworth navy veteran's funeral has been shared about 500 times via the Comet's Facebook page. - Credit: Archant

Joan Ellis was alerted on Thursday that a funeral for William Ronald Bean, who served in the navy, was being held at Harwood Park Crematorium in Stevenage this week – but that nobody was attending.

The veteran – who was known as Ron and was from Letchworth – died at the age of 86, with his remaining family members living in Australia.

After being informed of the circumstances by Herts funeral directors EH Crouch, the Legion’s Letchworth branch secretary Kenneth Price suggested to Joan that, as well as going themselves, that they put out an appeal on social media.

“By the sounds of it Ron’s body was just going to be taken to Harwood Park to be cremated – but he’s a navy veteran and we couldn’t have that,” said Joan.


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“I have got a feeling I knew him when I was social secretary of the local Royal Naval Association branch, but it couldn’t be sure without seeing a photo.”

The Comet posted Kenneth’s appeal on our Facebook page, and it has since been shared almost 500 times.

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Joan currently expects up to 50 people will attend tomorrow’s funeral, which starts at 5pm at the Watton Road site and will see a number of standard bearers and serving personnel paying their respects.

She added: “The response has been fantastic. I didn’t expect it, but I’m so pleased for him that he’s going to be given a proper send off and not be alone.

“I am now just trying to find someone to play The Last Post, although we do have it on CD if not.”

If you can help, call Joan on 01462 480838 or send a message to ‘RBLLetchworth Branch’ on Facebook.

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