Somerset

Hundreds attend D-Day veteran's funeral in Yeovil after social media appeal

Sydney Walsh, who served in the Royal Navy and also fought in the D-Day landings in 1944 Image copyright Samantha Hunnybun
Image caption Sydney Walsh served in the Royal Navy and also fought in the D-Day landings in 1944

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of a D-Day veteran following a social media plea from the funeral parlour for mourners.

Sydney Walsh died last month, aged 97, at his care home in Martock, Somerset.

Funeral director Stuart Foster said it showed "many generations still appreciate Sydney's heroic actions".

The service at Yeovil Crematorium included a helicopter flypast, standard bearers, outriders and a bugler who played the Last Post.

Image caption More than 100 Army and Navy personnel from RNAS Yeovilton attended the funeral in Yeovil
Image caption Funeral director Stuart Foster said they had been "overwhelmed" by the response to the plea on social media

The funeral parlour had been asked by Mr Walsh's niece and sister to step in and help as only 10 relatives were able to attend. His sister, who is in her 90s, was too frail to attend the service.

Mr Foster said: "It was a small appeal that went out and it really goes to show two things - that the military, while serving, and ex-servicemen are one big family.

"And they just wanted to come and support and show their respects. And so did people in the community."

Image caption Alison Lock helped to look after Mr Walsh at his care home in Martock

Care home assistant Alison Lock said: "He didn't really speak much about being in the Navy or anything but he kept his medals on him all the time - he never let them go. They were his pride and joy."

Mr Walsh served in the Royal Navy for seven years from January 1940 before he enrolled in the Royal Fleet Reserve in Devonport, where he remained for more than 30 years.

His Royal Navy career saw him work on several ships, including HMS Ark Royal, HMS Furious and HMS Defiance.

He also served on Landing ship tank number 162 on the D-Day Landings, on 6 June 1944.

Image caption Outriders were among those who attended Mr Walsh's service

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