Probate researchers have helped locate the family of forgotten World War Two hero Peter Brown who died alone in December 2022 in Maida Vale, London aged 96 with no known family.
Flight Sergeant Peter Brown was the last member of the “Pilots of the Caribbean” who fought in WW2.
Following his death, Westminster City Council issued an appeal for mourners to attend the planned public health funeral earlier this year as no relatives could be found via their initial search.
National newspaper The Sun picked up the council’s appeal for mourners, subsequently launching a campaign to give the RAF veteran a fitting send-off.
The campaign proved hugely successful, with messages of support being received from some significant public figures in the UK such as the Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The council reportedly became inundated with requests from people wishing to pay their final respects, and the funeral arrangements were subsequently pushed back and upgraded.
With no family having been found despite the appeal making national headlines, probate research firm Anglia Research began research into Peter’s family.
The local knowledge of those connected to their Jamaica office proved to be invaluable as they were able to locate living relatives, some of whom were able to fly over to the UK and attend the funeral. Other distant relatives flew in from as far afield as Canada.
In a service that took place on 25th May 2023, Peter Brown was given a full RAF funeral held at the RAF’s spiritual home, the 1,000-year-old St Clement Danes church, in Westminster. Almost 500 people attended.
“It was absolutely right that this man received such a dignified and decorated send-off which he so richly deserved following an appeal which caught the imagination of the nation. Sometimes it is about more than just a job,” said Anglia Research.