RAF veterans and friends rally round to organise a proper send off for hero Stan who was about to have pauper's funeral

Echo: RAF veterans and friends rally round to organise a proper send off for hero Stan who was about to have pauper's funeral RAF veterans and friends rally round to organise a proper send off for hero Stan who was about to have pauper's funeral

A HEROIC Second World War bomber pilot who died alone in his home, has been spared a pauper’s funeral thanks to Thurrock’s Royal Air Force Association.

Stan Franks, who had completed 31 missions over Germany by the time he was 19, is to be given a hero’s send-off, complete with a flypast by a wartime Spitfire fighter.

Echo:

The RAFA launched an appeal after it learned the 88-year-old decorated war hero had died alone in his home in Vange Park Road, Fobbing, last month.

The proud veteran has a daughter, but she is believed to live 250 miles away.

His death was only discovered when his regular waitress at the Five Bells, in Fobbing, became concerned she had not seen him at the pub and raised the alarm.

Stephanie Dwyer, 61, who has worked at the pub for 27 years, asked neighbours to check on Stan, when he failed to appear for his daily lunchtime visit three days in a row.

When the neighbours got no response, police were called and found him on death’s door.

An air ambulance flew Stan to hospital, but he was declared dead on October 31.

Ms Dwyer said: “We think he died of a heart attack.

“He’d been coming here for years and years. He was well loved and he liked to share his opinions.

“He was a funny man and always ready to have a friendly chat. He would chat to soldiers about his experiences in the war. He didn’t dwell on the past, but he was proud of what he had done.

“He was a well-loved character and we are all going to miss him.”

Echo:

With no money for his funeral, the RAFA rallied round and has raised £1,500 to pay for a proper service at Pitsea crematorium, scheduled for 2.40pm on December 13.

RAFApresident Jim Gooding said: “Stan died in sad circumstances, but that sadness has been lifted by the generosity and kindness of so many people who will ensure Stan has the send-off he deserves.

“We are all overwhelmed by the community’s support, I would like to express thanks from friends of Stan and his colleagues.”

Residents are being asked to line the route to the crematorium when the cortege pulls away from the Five Bells, at 2.20pm, passing through Pitsea town centre.

Comments (7)

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6:37am Mon 2 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Fantastic, only a shame he didn't receive such support, when he was alive
Fantastic, only a shame he didn't receive such support, when he was alive Nowthatsworthknowing

7:38am Mon 2 Dec 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Daughter lives 250 miles away, yes such a long distance.
Daughter lives 250 miles away, yes such a long distance. DogsMessInLeigh

7:47am Mon 2 Dec 13

OBL says...

RIP Sir, this is no less an honour than you deserved. Shame on the family who couldn't make more of an effort to give you the respect you deserve.
RIP Sir, this is no less an honour than you deserved. Shame on the family who couldn't make more of an effort to give you the respect you deserve. OBL

10:39am Mon 2 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

What a sad indictment that the man only gets that support when he's dead. If he'd been my neighbour I'd have been checking on him.

How disgusting. When you think of the sort of thieving, disgusting scum walking the streets, supported by the taxpayer. People turn up here from all over the world and are housed, fed and clothed.

And here we are with a real life hero left to die alone.

Where are the scum-supporting leftwing do gooders when it comes to looking after your own. That's right, busy supporting the "human rights" of the selfsame kind of utter vermin people like Mr Franks fought against.

God help us all.
What a sad indictment that the man only gets that support when he's dead. If he'd been my neighbour I'd have been checking on him. How disgusting. When you think of the sort of thieving, disgusting scum walking the streets, supported by the taxpayer. People turn up here from all over the world and are housed, fed and clothed. And here we are with a real life hero left to die alone. Where are the scum-supporting leftwing do gooders when it comes to looking after your own. That's right, busy supporting the "human rights" of the selfsame kind of utter vermin people like Mr Franks fought against. God help us all. Kim Gandy

3:13pm Mon 2 Dec 13

craigie123 says...

RIP Stan, this country owes you a huge debt,
RIP Stan, this country owes you a huge debt, craigie123

8:31pm Mon 2 Dec 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

personally i would like to see some Lottery money going to things like this.
personally i would like to see some Lottery money going to things like this. DogsMessInLeigh

12:03am Tue 3 Dec 13

scoog66 says...

please dont loose sight of stan in some of these messages,he has good friends us among them who talked to him every day ,we talked to him the day before he collapsed and continued to check on him till the police broke in he was a very proud man who allowed us to get his shopping for him and run errands as did others,we are so pleased that he is getting the sendoff he so deserves,would that we had had the money to do it ,i do wish to point out ,that he passed away in hospital ,he was not awake ,nor in pain,but he was warm and not alone and i was able to say goodbye ,realy wish he was still here ,but i am proud to have known ,reporters really should get all the facts before they print as they can lead to hurtful comments ,and the government should pay for all soldiers funerals ,because with stan and bomber command they wouldnt be where they are .
please dont loose sight of stan in some of these messages,he has good friends us among them who talked to him every day ,we talked to him the day before he collapsed and continued to check on him till the police broke in he was a very proud man who allowed us to get his shopping for him and run errands as did others,we are so pleased that he is getting the sendoff he so deserves,would that we had had the money to do it ,i do wish to point out ,that he passed away in hospital ,he was not awake ,nor in pain,but he was warm and not alone and i was able to say goodbye ,realy wish he was still here ,but i am proud to have known ,reporters really should get all the facts before they print as they can lead to hurtful comments ,and the government should pay for all soldiers funerals ,because with stan and bomber command they wouldnt be where they are . scoog66

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