Horncastle RBL appeals for attendees for war ‘hero’ funeral

Bob Neale.
Bob Neale.

The Horncastle branch of the Royal British Legion is appealing for members of the public to attend the funeral of a former solider who died recently.

Robert Neale died in Boston’s Pilgrim hospital last month - just days before his 89th birthday.

Sadly, Mr Neale, who lived in Belchford, passed away on his own. He is a widower and has no children.

Julian Millington, chairman of the Horncastle and District Branch of the RBL, said: “It probably seems a strange request but I am looking for people to attend his funeral.

“Whenever someone dies, family and friends attend a funeral.

“But what happens when there is no-one to remember?

“Should that person just be forgotten, with no-one to acknowledge his life? I don’t think so, and I hope you agree.

“That is what is likely to happen to Robert Neale. He has no family to remember him.

“I never met Robert, don’t know much about him, but I believe he deserves people to be at his funeral.

“What I do know about Robert is that he proudly served his country as a member of the British Army.

“I know he was injured in Tripoli and that he carried the scars of those injuries for the rest of his life. “Had it been necessary, he would have given his life for his country.

“In my mind that makes him a hero and someone who should be rewarded with a memorable funeral.”

Mr Millington said he was told about Robert’s story by one of his neighbours who had spent time with him in the closing weeks of his life.

He added: “With Robert being an ex-serviceman, and I the Chairman of Horncastle and District Royal British Legion, I found it unacceptable that there be no-one to mourn his passing.

“With the help of the County Chairman, Tony Goodwin, members of the Royal British Legion will be attending his funeral.

“But we need the support of the general public to show Robert that his contribution will not be forgotten. Please spread the word and see how many mourners we can get to attend.

“Robert deserves to be remembered.”

The funeral will be held at Alford Crematorium at 10am on Thursday April 20.