Facebook campaign calls on people to attend funeral of Great Yarmouth RAF veteran on Wednesday

John Davies whose funeral is being held on December 23rd. Photo: Submitted

John Davies whose funeral is being held on December 23rd. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A RAF veteran from Great Yarmouth is to be given a grand send off by an escort of bikers and ex-servicemen, after a Facebook campaign was launched to let people know about his death.

John Davies died aged 94 earlier this month without any surviving family members, prompting fears his funeral on Wednesday December 23 would be poorly attended.

A Facebook post asked people pay their respects 'to see this gentlemen on his final journey'.

Mr Davies served in the Second World War with the RAF, during which, he spent time in North America, Africa and India.

He lived his final years at the Gables care home in Gorleston.

Deputy manager, Julia Hayes, said: 'He was a real gentleman, who was very softly spoken and was very proud when talking about the five years he spent with the RAF.

'He lived a tragic life, he was never married, he was to meet his fiancée in Malta before he was stationed over in North Africa.

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'He missed his wedding and he lost contact with her and never knew what happened to her.

'He also struggled to get over the death of his brother, Reg, who was also in the RAF and was just 19 when he was killed in the war.

'However he was a very charming man who was good with the ladies. He would write poetry and sing to us while wearing his top hat.'

Mr Davies grew up in Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth, and left school at 14 to work on a poultry farm for seven shillings a week.

At the age of 15, he walked from Burgh Castle to London - sleeping in a haystack en route - to join his brother, Arthur.

He was a hotel chef in the capital before and after the Second World War, and later as a maintenance engineer at The Star Hotel in Great Yarmouth until his retirement.

He continued to work into his mid-80s, running a market stall selling CDs in aid of the Caister Lifeboat.

He died at St David's care home in Great Yarmouth.

An escort of bikers will meet at the East of England Co-op on Northgate Street at 9am tomorrow and will ride to Gorleston crematorium where his funeral will be held at 9.30am.