Strangers attend funeral of Barnsley-born former soldier

Harold Morgan
Harold Morgan
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More than 100 mourners turned up to pay their last respects to a Barnsley-born former soldier even though some of them never knew him.

Church officials launched a Facebook appeal this week fearing no-one would be at the funeral of former Welsh Guardsman, Harold Morgan, after undertakers were unable to trace his family or friends.

But long lost friends and relatives as well as total strangers responded and turned out to pay their respects to the 85-year-old.

Also in attendance at St Tathan Church in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, were representatives from the fire service, police and Royal British Legion as well as youngsters from a military college.

Reverend Rachel Simpson said she had been worried she would end up having to make general comments to a virtually empty church.

She said: “A few days ago, Harold was known and loved by only a small few and by god.

“But there was an amazing response - bringing people here to pay their last respects even though they didn’t know him.”

Mr Morgan, the eldest of five children, was born in Barnsley in 1929.

At the age of 17, he left school and joined the Welsh Guards for five years and was posted to Palestine.

After returning home, he was discharged from the Army on medical grounds and moved to Reading, where he became a signalman in 1955.

He later moved to Carmarthen, where he later worked as a carpenter and then a book-keeper.

He moved to a nursing home in Barry after suffering a stroke.