Mourners gather for funeral of Portsmouth pensioner Gordon Burgess after Royal British Legion appeal

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HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier leaves Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time on October 30. 

Picture: Malcolm Wells

HMS Queen Elizabeth due into Portsmouth next week

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Mourners were gathering today for the funeral of a Portsmouth pensioner who it was feared would be cremated with any friends marking his passing.

Many are believed to have responded to a plea issued over Twitter by Ann Williams, of community group the Pompey Pals earlier this week on behalf of the Portsmouth South branch of the Royal British Legion.

She urged people to attend the funeral of Gordon Burgess, who lived in Tipner and is understood to have been a former sailor in the Royal Navy.

Ann, who is a part of Pompey in the Community’s Life ‘N’ Chimes project which helps elderly people with Alzheimer’s, said she was touched by the appeal.

‘I saw it on Facebook and I wanted to help,’ she said.

‘I have got a bit of experience in this as I am a social worker for elderly people.

‘I have seen it happen all too frequently – elderly people on their own.

‘It’s just so sad. They have fought for our country and the least we can do is be there for them at the time that they need us the most.’

Mr Burgess is believed to have died last month.

His funeral is due to be held at 9.30am today in the south chapel at Portchester Crematorium, in Upper Cornaway Lane, Fareham.