Over 100 mourners attend funeral of RAF man who had no family

William James Bowles, ex-RAF man who died without any family - back row, fourth from right
William James Bowles, ex-RAF man who died without any family - back row, fourth from right

Over 100 people gathered for the funeral of a former RAF man from Falkirk who had no known relatives.

William James Boles was only 61 when he died from cancer at his home in St Ives, Cornwall.

But the lawyers handling his estate discovered he was likely to be buried without any mourners as they could not trace any family.

However, following an appeal by the RAF Association over 100 people attended the service on July 13 at Cambridge Crematorium.

William, known as Bill, attended Graeme High School and was originally from Whitecross.

He completed an apprenticeship at RAF Cosford in 1972 and then served for 11 years as an aircraft engineer, before retiring in 1981.

A spokesman for the association said: “With no next of kin, the attendance of the RAF Association’s local branch members and members of the public at his funeral was a poignant display of remembrance.

“There have been a number of cases where ex-RAF personnel pass away with no known family or friends so sadly, William’s story is not unique.”