A hearse bearing the body Harold Percival
A hearse bearing the body of World War Two veteran Harold Percival arrives for a funeral service in Lytham, north-west England, on November 11, 2013. Photo by AFP
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Members of the public, veterans and service personnel gather to pay their respects to Harold Percival at Lytham Park Crematorium, Lytham St. Annes, England, Nov. 11, 2013. Photo by AP
AFP
A hearse bearing the body of World War Two veteran Harold Percival arrives for a funeral service in Lytham, north-west England, on November 11, 2013. Photo by AFP

Hundreds have attended the funeral of a 99-year-old former World War II airman who died without family after a nursing home appealed for strangers to give him a send-off.

Harold Percival died October 25 in Lytham St. Annes, northwest England. The nursing home placed an advertisement in the local newspaper asking military personnel to attend the service.

The ad was taken up on Twitter, and several hundred soldiers, veterans and civilians gathered at a crematorium Monday to pay respects to Percival, who served as ground crew with the Royal Air Force during the war.

The Rev. Alan Clark told mourners they had "come in numbers surpassing anything that was expected. Not because you knew him, but because each of us has a common humanity."