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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:08 pm 
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'Please honour this hero': Appeal for mourners to attend funeral of RAF veteran, 90, who flew in one of the most daring raids of WW2 but has died alone

Sidney Marshall was an RAF gunner and pilot with during Second World War
Awarded Distinguished Flying Medal and was in attack that sunk the Tirpitz
Died aged 90 and undertaker is appealing for mourners to attend his funeral
Wife died 18 months ago, he had no children, and brothers are too old to go

By Chris Pleasance

Published: 10:22 EST, 28 June 2014 | Updated: 05:00 EST, 29 June 2014

A Second World War RAF hero who was awarded a medal for his skill and bravery may be laid to rest at a funeral with no mourners.

Sidney Marshall, 90, passed away at his home in Lythan St Annes two weeks ago and had no children with his late wife Elizabeth, who died 18 months previously.

Marshall, a mid-upper gunner, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for shooting down five Luftwaffe enemy fighters when he was attacked while on a mission over Bergan.
Sidney Marshall (pictured with wife Elizabeth who died 18 months before him) passed away at his home aged 90 and may now be buried at a funeral with no mourners as he did not have children

Sidney Marshall (pictured with wife Elizabeth who died 18 months before him) passed away at his home aged 90 and may now be buried at a funeral with no mourners as he did not have children

As a mid-gunner for the RAF he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for shooting down German fighters
He also piloted a Lancaster bomber and was instrumental in the raid that sunk the Turpitz

As a mid-gunner for the RAF he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for shooting down German fighters. He also piloted a Lancaster bomber and was instrumental in the raid that sunk the Tirpitz

The veteran was also instrumental in the attack which sank The Tirpitz, a 42,900 ton Bismarck-class battleship built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine, on November 12, 1944.

He completed a remarkable 28 sorties piloting a Lancaster Bomber in the RAF's 9th Squadron.

After the war he became a warrant officer and settled down with his wife in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire.

Eddy Jacobs, of Roland Whitehead and Daughter Funeral Directors in Blackpool, has pleaded for mourners to attend Mr Marshall's funeral service on July 4.

Mr Jacobs said: 'We've got so much to be thankful for to guys like these.

'I remember hiding under the kitchen table with my mother and at the same time he was probably flying off to fight the Germans.
Undertaker Eddy Jacobs is now appealing for people to come forward to attend Mr Marshall's funeral

Undertaker Eddy Jacobs is now appealing for people to come forward to attend Mr Marshall's funeral

'It's amazing really. I first met him 18 months ago when his wife died and he was absolutely devastated.

'He was a very unassuming sort of man, so when I heard the stories about his time during the war I couldn't believe it. These guys were so brave.'

Mr Marshall has eight siblings but, apart from one brother, they are all too elderly to attend the service.

Mr Jacobs added: 'He's got no-one to fight his corner really. He was quite a private person.'
TO KILL A GIANT: HOW THE RAF SUNK THE FORMIDABLE BATTLESHIP TIRPITZ
The Tirpitz was one of only two Bismark-class Nazi battleships. It had double armour plating, eight 15inch guns and carried nearly 2,000 officers and crew

The Tirpitz was one of only two Bismark-class Nazi battleships. It had double armour plating, eight 15inch guns and carried nearly 2,000 officers and crew

The Tirpitz was one of only two Bismark-class battleships built for the Nazi Kreigsmarine - or navy - during the Second World War.

The vast vessel weighed 42,900 tons, was double-plated with armour, carried nearly 2,000 officers and crew and was heavily armed with eight 15-inch cannons, flak guns and machine guns.

It spent most of the war in Norwegian waters, harrying shipping convoys on their way to Russia and forcing the Allies to station a large naval force there to defend against it.

The British Navy dared not risk a sea attack on the Tirpitz, as it was so heavily armed, so instead focused on destroying it from the air.

Bombing raids while it was being built in 1941 failed to destroy it, and early attacks after it was completed were largely unsuccessful due to the thickness of its armour plating.

It wasn't until 1944 that the RAF managed to cripple the craft after inventor Sir Barnes Wallis - who also designed the bouncing bomb - created the 12,030lb Tallboy, capable of penetrating the ship's defences.

On September 15, 1944, 27 Lancaster bombers from RAF 9th and 617th squadrons took off from a base in Russia to attack the Tirpitz at anchor in Kaa Fjord in Northern Norway.

One Tallboy found its target in the Tirpitz's forecastle, exploding deep within the battleship. The explosion was so powerful it knocked out the ship's engines, but the vessel failed to sink.

Instead it was moved to southern Norway where it was stationed as a semi-static heavy artillery battery after Nazi high command decided they couldn't restore it to full strength.

Another raid on October 29th failed as cloud blew over the ship just as the bombers were approaching, blocking it from view, meaning all the bombs missed.
The RAF eventually sunk the Tirpitz on November 12 after hitting it with two Tallboys - huge 12,030lb bombs made specially for the mission by the same man who designed the bouncing bomb

The RAF eventually sunk the Tirpitz on November 12 after hitting it with two Tallboys - huge 12,030lb bombs made specially for the mission by the same man who designed the bouncing bomb

The Tirpitz was finally sunk on November 12 when bombers from 9th and 617th squadron attacked it again, flying in low so as not to appear on radar.

Despite warnings being sent from the ship to a nearby airfield, not a single German fighter took off to attack the bombers when they were finally spotted.

The ship's flak guns could only do so much to defend her, and two Tallboys hit the deck, resulting in a huge explosion which caused the ship to list.

Eventually ammunition stored below deck also exploded, causing the ship to turn to port and capsize. Within 10 minutes the vessel was completely upside down.

The attack killed roughly 1,000 of her crew, but thanks to the inaction of German pilots the RAF lost none of its bombers which all returned safely to base - including the one carrying Sidney Marshall.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z36SQYNCAQ
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