Dozens attend funeral of army veteran poppy-seller whose life was ‘one tragedy after another’ after pals feared no one would show
DOZENS of kind-hearted strangers attended the funeral of a troubled army veteran and poppy-seller after a desperate appeal by pals who feared no one would go.
Stewart Kingdom, 54, tragically took his own life after being plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the forces.
SWNS:South West News Service Stewart Kingdom’s coffin was draped in a Union Jack as he was given a fitting send-off in Yeovil, Somerset, on Friday[/caption]
On Friday former friends, members of the armed services and Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh flocked to Yeovil Crematorium, Somerset, to give a fitting send-off to Mr Kingdom.
The ex-squaddie served tours of Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
He also saw action in the Falklands and the First Gulf War.
But after leaving the forces in 1997, Mr Kingdom endured a series of heartbreaking personal tragedies.
Mr Kingdom, 54, tragically took his own life last month after learning he had terminal cancer
SWNS:South West News Service Members of the armed services and kind-hearted strangers turned out to pay their respects to Mr Kingdom[/caption]
SWNS:South West News Service Grieving mourners paid their respects at the moving service on Friday[/caption]
An inquest heard that his life “seemed to be one tragedy after another”.
His father died in hospital during a routine operation in 1997.
His mum was so distraught by the loss that she took her own life the same day.
And on the day of his mother and father’s funeral his sister was killed in a road accident.
SWNS:South West News Service Flags were held aloft as the hearse arrived at Yeovil Crematorium[/caption]
SWNS:South West News Service The flag of the Royal British Legion lined the entrance to the crematorium[/caption]
SWNS:South West News Service Friends and strangers turned out to say goodbye to Mr Kingdom, whose life was marred by personal tragedies[/caption]
A few years later he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and PTSD – which contributed to the eventual breakdown of his marriage.
The former Royal Army Medical Corps soldier was told in August that he had terminal cancer – and he was given just 12 months to live.
He told friends that he felt “life was no longer worth living” and took his own life at his bungalow in Crewkerne, Somerset, last month.
Following his death, a coroner was unable to find any relative to let them know of his passing.
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But the Crewkerne branch of the Royal British Legion began an appeal to try to gather mourners to pay their respects.
The campaign gained momentum and led to the large showing at the moving service on Friday.
Many wore military attire – while a Union Jack was draped over Mr Kingdom’s coffin.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123 or 020 7734 2800.