A lonely Royal Navy veteran has received the send-off he deserved thanks to kind-hearted strangers.
John Leonard Baldwin, 90, passed away recently but has no living relatives.
He was born in Wayland, Norfolk on July 8, 1927 – and died in Cambridge on April 19 this year.
John's funeral looked to be a lonely event, but after the News highlighted his story , people rallied to give him the send-off he deserved.
A teenager even felt so moved by John's service to his country that he penned a poem for the funeral.
Originally, his funeral was only going to be attended by one friend and Reverend Simon Whittaker as chaplain.
His only friend Angela O'Sullivan said: "It was just amazing. The Royal Navy turned up, all the bikers turned up, the chapel was full and I know that he was probably smiling down on us.
"And there was a lovely thing that happened towards the end. A young man probably no more than 16 or 17 told me: 'I wrote him a poem but I didn't have the chance to read it in the service.
"It was such a nice gesture."
Gathered are we giving respect to you
A hero now passed, just and true
This family you joined gathered here in force
For although you're gone, you can never divorce
The bonds of this world now cast aside
Your ship set sail towards the rising tide
A wise man once said a life worth living is a life lived for others
This, you have accomplished one of our fallen brothers
'The Royal Navy want to make sure he is honoured'
Mr Baldwin served in the Royal Navy for 22 years and has been described as a “true and proud military man”.
Angela OSullivan, his only friend, told the News that Johns funeral was moved from Cambridge Crematorium's east chapel to its west chapel because so many more people attended.
The crematorium's east chapel has a capacity of 55 people, while the west chapel can accommodate 170 people.
She said: “Im a sister at Addenbrookes; I was coming along in the car when I saw someone struggling to walk. It was John. I got him a chair and our friendship blossomed from there really.
“Since the appeal in the News asking for more people to attend his funeral, lots of people in Cambridge have been gathering together to help.
“Representatives from the Royal Navy all want to make sure John is honoured in the same way that he gave 22 years of his life to his country.”
Angela said people came to Johns funeral from as far away as Worcestershire.
The appeal comes after the News shared a similar appeal for the funeral of RAF hero Kenneth White .
Moved by Kenneth's story, people rallied around to contribute to a celebration of his life.
Reader Paul Beard got in touch to say friends and serving RAF personnel would attend the funeral on March 26 .
Flowers, wreath and a small collection for a plaque in Kenneth's memory were organised.
Before the planned funeral service at Cambridge Crematorium, 150 motorbikes travelled with Kenneth's body from St Ives.
The escort, with bikers from all over the country, was met by an armed forces bugler ahead of the funeral in the crematorium's West Chapel.
More than 100 people attended the service after Kenneth's story was shared through social media.
Another appeal was made in May last year following the death of D-Day landings veteran John Craig, from Saffron Walden.
At his funeral , also at Cambridge Crematorium, more than 70 people came along to pay their last respects.