‘Amazing’ support for late Eastbourne war veteran

Eastbourne Crematorium at Langney
Eastbourne Crematorium at Langney

The chaplain of Eastbourne DGH has praised the ‘amazing response’ to a message asking for well-wishers to attend the funeral of a Second World War veteran.

In a message posted on Facebook on Tuesday hospital chaplain Dennis Nolan asked if there was anyone willing to attend the funeral of James Knowles, who had passed away a few days earlier.

Mr Knowles tragically died without any close family.

Determined that the veteran’s memory should be honoured, Mr Nolan put out an appeal on social media asking for well-wishers to attend his funeral.

In a message on Facebook Mr Nolan said, “On Wednesday April 27 at 9.45am at the Family Chapel, Eastbourne Crematorium, I am conducting the funeral of a WW2 veteran James Knowles.

“There are no known family expected to attend. Can Eastbourne rise to the challenge of making sure this old soldier gets the respect he deserves. I would be grateful if this could be shared.”

Mr Nolan, who has beenlead chaplain at the DGH since last year, put the post on Christian Facebook group Hope for Eastbourne.

The post was shared at least 2,000 times from the group – possibly many hundred times more in other places.

So many people have shared the post that Mr Nolan has asked that people stop sharing it due to concerns about too many people turning up.

In an update he said, “My original post was shared more than 2,000 times which is an amazing show of support by local people.

“Accommodation/parking at the Crematorium are very limited. The service for Mr Knowles will be taking place at the family chapel as the main chapel is scheduled for use by others.”

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