STAR OPINION: Say farewell to brave William

Sheffield City Road Crematorium: be there at 1pm on Wednesday to pay tribute to William
Sheffield City Road Crematorium: be there at 1pm on Wednesday to pay tribute to William

It is a quietly heart-breaking and sadly all-too-common story - the solitary and quiet older person who lives alone whose life ends with a sparsely-attended funeral.

One such person is 86-year-old William Parkin, who passed away in November after a spell in hospital.

Having lived alone, his funeral has been organised by his next-door neighbour and will take place at City Road Crematorium tomorrow afternoon.

But there are fears that just a handful of people will be in attendance, possibly as few as just five.

FUNERAL CALL: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/appeal-for-people-to-attend-funeral-of-solitary-sheffield-military-veteran-william-86-1-8296898
It is a particularly tragic thought at this wonderful time of year, as those of us who are lucky enough get ready to make magical Christmas memories with our families and friends.

So an appeal has been launched for military veterans and ordinary members of the public to attend and give William the send-off he deserves.

It would be wonderful, particularly at this festive time of year dedicated to love and giving, to see as many people as possible in attendance at William’s funeral tomorrow.

Sparing less than an hour on a Wednesday afternoon to attend will be a true show of Sheffielders’ generosity.

Since posting details of the funeral on The Star’s Facebook page on Monday afternoon, more than 20,000 people have seen the appeal to attend.

If just a tiny proportion who have picked up today’s paper or seen the Facebook post make it along, it will be the most special Christmas gift of all to William’s neighbour and his one surviving relative, his niece.

But don’t leave it to others to attend - we can all make a difference by being there. If you can make it, you won’t regret it.

The funeral will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, at City Road Crematorium from 1pm.