Appeal for mourners to attend funeral of man with no family

A plea has been made for people to attend the funeral of a Falkirk man who has died without any known family or friends.

William James Bowles, ex-RAF who died without any family
William James Bowles, ex-RAF who died without any family

William James Boles was only 61 when he recently 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 cannot trace any relatives.

They did find out he had previous served in the Royal Air Force and contacted the RAF Association.

It is now calling on Falkirk Bairns, anyone who may have know William and ex-RAF personel to attend next week’s funeral.

Little is known about him other than that he was originally from Whitecross and attended Graeme High School.

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

He has no known next of kin and very generously left his estate to Dreamdrops, Huntingdonshire Children’s Charity. With no-one to attend his funeral, members of the RAF Association’s local branches plan to gather to pay their respects.

Joe Stanfield, area director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, RAF Association, said: “We are reaching out to the people of William’s hometown of Falkirk as we would like to encourage as many people as possible to join our members and attend his funeral this Wednesday.

“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. The RAF Association runs a befriending scheme, pairing volunteers with veterans who suffer from loneliness and isolation. We want to ensure every veteran is remembered and hope to give a fitting tribute to William’s service.”

The funeral of Corporal William James Bowles will take place on Wednesday, July 13at 3.15pm at Cambridge Crematorium, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0JJ.