Hundreds turn out to give 96-year-old war vet who died with no family the send off he deserved

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects and say farewell to a 96-year-old World War II veteran from Wilmslow who passed away with no family to mourn him.

Harry Wheeler lived and worked in and around Wilmslow all his life. He was married to Enid for over 50 years and had one child Susan, both of which are deceased. He lived independently in his own home until the age of of 94 and then in a care home in Macclesfield until his passing on Monday, 8th May.

His friends Eileen and Michael Jeffers appealed for members of the community to join them to pay their respects to Harry, who was in the Royal Marines during WW2, at his funeral on Thursday 18th May and they were delighted with the response, describing the funeral as so special and a great show by the Royal Marines.

Eileen told wilmslow.co.uk "The send off for Harry was just perfect and completely fitting for such a true gentleman!

"The outpouring of love from total strangers was overwhelming. I am happy to say, the people of our community did you proud."

Harry's coffin was respectfully draped with the Union Jack flag and arrived at Macclesfield Crematorium on a horse drawn carriage. A lone bagpiper walked ahead of the horse drawn hearse and a pair of Marines on motorcycles led the procession.

Hundreds of strangers, Marines, and ex-veterans lined either side of the entry all bowing their heads, while Marines in full dress with regimental standards saluted him.

Eileen said "A beautiful service followed, conducted by Rev. Deacon Tom Chrisp who also read a lovely and personal eulogy written by my husband, Mike, recounting our memories of Harry and his life - including an hilarious recounting of some of Harry's escapades'."

The service ended with a Marine bugler playing The Last Post and Reveille.

Eileen added "As people left the overflowing Crematorium, my husband, Mike was asked to release four white doves in honour of Harry. It was utterly and completely, the send off Harry deserved!"

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Harry Wheeler
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