It appears that initial reports that Mr.Marshall was in danger of having no one go to his funeral were somewhat unfortunately exagerated by the undertaker concerned, although his intention was well meant.
Upon making enquiries about Mr.Marshall's funeral at Lytham Park Crematorium, I found that members of his family, including his brother, nephew and other younger generations will be attending, along with friends and old colleagues. Furthermore, I received an Email this morning from one of the people I corresponded with concerning making the trip up to Lancashire to pay my respects that included this quote from his nephew:
"Thank you to everyone who has responded and for all the support during this sad time.
The gentleman who publicised the funeral acted in good faith but didn't consult any of us before it went viral.
We are grateful to everyone who has expressed a wish to be at the funeral, but please be aware that Sidney was a very private person who never talked about his wartime experiences ever, also he would have liked the funeral to have been a friends & family affair.
However, it is nice that everyone is interested, but please be aware, the wake after, is strictly a private friends & family gathering & we can not invite any extra individuals back.
Myself, my father (Sid's brother Bill) & the vicar will be speaking during the service. Many thanks for the kind offers from serving personnel.
By all means attend, but please be aware that not all of you will be able to be present inside the crematorium, due to space issues.
If people wish to donate, please donate to the RAF Benevolent funds, it was Sidney's wishes.
On behalf of the family, again thank you all for your interest & support."
Therefore I have decided not to make the trip as the jist of the comment to me seems to be that they are all a bit concerned about the whole thing turning into a bit of a circus when they were hoping for a more private service without TV camera's, reporters or other members of the general public, which I thoroughly understand. It would seem there may well be standing room only in the chapel, so there's no shortage of mourners by the look of it.
All the same, I will still wish W/O Sidney Marshall DFM 'blue skies' on the 4th.
Per Ardua Ad Astra.