YEP Says: Leeds can be so proud for giving such a farewell

we hear all too often about bad people doing horrible things.

Saturday, 23rd July 2016, 6:42 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd July 2016, 8:04 am
PIC: Tony Johnson

Leeds can be a grim place at times, but it also has the ability to make the heart soar.

News that there was a magnificent turnout for the funeral of war hero Stewart Cooney proves that.

At 95, it was feared this courageous man who did so much good in his life would have a lonely funeral, having no surviving relatives or close friends.

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It would have been a terrible conclusion to such a wonderful life. So a call was made for Leeds to say thank-you to him.

The scale of the response to that call could surely not have been anticipated.

There was standing room only as hundreds of complete strangers – young and old alike – turned out to salute Mr Cooney, a veteran of the Royal Artillery who fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino.

His sisters were among long lost family members who were tracked down.

Members of the Royal British Legion were in attendance and a bikers’ club carried in the coffin.

Buglers sounded the last post as Mr Cooney was laid to rest at Pudsey Cemetery and a number of YEP readers attended.

How heartening that in this self-obsessed age the debt we owe to individuals such as Mr Cooney shows no sign of being forgotten.