I was wondering if you could help. I would like to appeal to anyone who may be interested in attending the funeral of my father Gerard Walsh who unfortunately crossed the bar on the 29th April. Apart from myself and my wife we do not think there will be anyone else attending, which will be very sad indeed. For Gerry my dad or 'ginger' as he was known to his shipmates, war really started on Christmas Eve 1940 with the Manchester Blitz, whilst he was living in Hopwood Street, Pendlebury aged 14. A parachute mine was dropped onto the street, it devastated the houses and families within. My Dad was buried in the ruins of his house along with his Mother, his big sister 'Winnie' 19 , her friend from next door, and her father who had popped in for a cuppa. During the hours they were trapped in the rubble my Dad could hear Winnie praying close by him as he went in and out of consciousness , but as time went on her voice became quieter and eventually stopped. My Dad was eventually pulled from the wreckage and rushed to Pendlebury Children's Hospital with a fractured skull, most of his ribs crushed and severe damage to his shoulder. He spent seven months in hospital recovering. His sister Winnie and her friend were both killed along with 10 others on the street. My dad later told me his father never got over the loss of the 'apple of his eye' Winnie. The family had lost everything, their house, posessions, and now they were split up. Despite his injuries my Dad was left with a burning desire to have a go back, and so volunteered as soon as he could for the Navy. He said he somehow managed to get through the physical by sticking his chest out and swinging his arms manically when asked to march up and down, when he later told his own GP that he had been accepted, he was so amazed he gave him a shilling and said he couldn't believe it and wished him luck! He subsequently went on to Convoys, took part in D-Day and later the landings at Walcheren. Whilst on HMS Hargood he was involved with the rescue of US infantry on board the sinking troop ship Empire Javelin , which he had to board to help provide first aid to the wounded, having run out of bandages , tying newspapers around their wounds with their bootlaces. After a few other scrapes, finally the escorting back to Britain of captured U-boats and their Captains. His life was forever changed by the war and his time in the Navy, it was what he was most proud of, and that in the end he had managed to give them a bit back with his oerlikon before it was all over. He was just another of our hard working , decent, honest blokes, with stories to tell of their time in uniform and their long gone mates, but he served his country and we all owe him and his generation our freedom. But to me he was simply my Dad and my hero. The service will be held on Monday 23rd May at 10.00am Christ the King Church Walkden,Manchester M28 3LN Then onto for 11.00am St Marys Cemetary Wardley M28 2UJ. All donations to the British Legion. Many Thanks, Sean. Sean Walsh.