Legion riders escort coffin

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RIDERS from the Royal British Legion Riders Branch escorted James McConnell’s hearse into the cemetery.

Hundreds of people braved the bitter cold today at Milton Cemetery to be there for the burial of the former Royal Marine.

They turned up after an appeal on Facebook made by people who feared the 69-year-old would be buried with no mourners.

He had no known family.

Around a dozen motorcycles bearing flags followed the funeral procession through the gates of the cemetery and up to the graveside service.

David Gibson, 48, of Horsea Road in Hilsea, was one of the riders.

He said: ‘I heard about it on Facebook through an ex-naval colleague of mine who I used to serve with.

‘We’re here to honour a brother-in-arms.

‘The military is a family and that’s why we’re here.’