A RETIRED serviceman with no known friends or family is to be given a military send-off this week after fellow veterans were touched by his story.

Aircraftsman Raymond Burrows, 89, died at his Faringdon home five months ago, but funeral proceedings were delayed while authorities unsuccessfully tried to track down surviving friends and family.

Funeral directors R&H Barker, who have covered the costs to avoid a pauper’s funeral, have not even been provided with a picture of him for the order of service. Yet more than 70 people are expected at All Saints Church, Faringdon, from 10.30am off on Thursday.

Mr Burrows’ coffin will be dressed with a union jack and poppy wreath.

The hearse will leave Oakwood House at 10am, led by the Royal British Legion Riders, before the service in Coach Lane Cemetery.

Little is known about the RAF veteran, who was born in Burnley on September 2, 1928 and served as an aircraft handler and flight mechanic airframes junior engineer, according to the Ministry of Defence.

They believe he was enlisted between September 3, 1946 and September 2, 1948.

After completing his training, he was based at RAF Bircham Newton in Norfolk and then moved to RAF Honiley in Warwickshire.

He died on February 3, after a battle with cancer.

Various other military organisations have been asked about Mr Burrows’ life, but have found no records.

Funeral Director Roger Barker, who insisted on a Faringdon-based ceremony, said: “The phone hasn’t stopped. I’m over the moon, it’s just so good. Sometimes the emotion [at funerals for people with no relations] is more than somebody who is a dearly loved grandparent.”

Mr Burrows was found in his bed by care workers, after spending time in the care of Sobell House Hospice.

In place of flowers, organisers ask that any donations go to the Royal British Legion.