Essex

Essex bombing veteran Stan Franks saved from pauper's funeral

Stan Franks funeral service
Image caption Stan Franks's funeral service was held at Basildon Crematorium

About 300 people turned out after a fundraising effort ensured a World War Two RAF flight engineer did not face a pauper's funeral.

Bomber Command airman Stan Franks completed 31 missions over Germany by the time he was 19 years old.

In October, the 88-year-old decorated veteran was found dead at his home in Fobbing, Essex, where he lived alone.

Mr Franks would have been given a council-funded funeral had a fundraising effort not been successful.

PM's tribute

Thousands of pounds was raised by the Thurrock branch of the Royal Air Force Association and readers of The Enquirer newspaper.

The Conservative MP for Thurrock, Jackie Doyle-Price, spoke about the airman during Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons on Wednesday.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I would certainly praise all those in Thurrock who raised money in this way - the story of Stan Franks is a truly remarkable one.

"He's believed to have been the youngest airman to complete 30 missions in 1944-1945, before he was 20 years old."

The funeral took place at Basildon Crematorium and the service included a flypast by a Spitfire.

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