Breakfast club to befriend veterans
AGROUP of veterans are launching a club to combat loneliness after hundreds of strangers attended a funeral for a forgotten soldier.
More than 300 people attended the funeral of Royal Marine veteran Harry Wheeler, 96, to pay their respects after it emerged that he had no known family and it was feared no-one would attend.
An appeal was launched on social media which was picked up by the Express and it prompted people to say goodbye to Harry at his funeral at Macclesfield Crematorium.
And now some of the veterans who attended the funeral have been inspired to launch a new group to combat loneli- ness among other people in Macclesfield who used to be in the forces.
Mark Lomas and Walter Freudenau are organising the Veterans Breakfast Club which will be an opportunity for veterans from all Forces including the Army, Navy and RAF to get together over breakfast to socialise, share sto- ries and make friends.
Mark, 46, was a soldier in the Army for nearly 24 years and had tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was part of the Cheshire Regiment which merged with the Mercian Regiment.
Mark, of Sutton Close, Macclesfield, said: “It was so amazing to see so many people come out for Harry’s funeral.
“It’s so sad to think of him in that care home all alone and that no-one may have come to his funeral.
“A few of us went to the Pack Horse pub after the funeral and we got speaking and thought it would be good to have something in Macclesfield to stop other veterans becoming lonely like Harry.
“So many veterans go into their shell and it would really help them to meet other soldiers and have some camaraderie again.
“There are people in care homes who don’t have anyone else.
“We’re working with the care homes to try and get people out and about.
“There are lots of people in Macclesfield who would benefit from a club like this, so we don’t have another veteran like Harry.”
The first meeting of the new Veteran’s Breakfast Club is on Saturday, June 17 at the Pack Horse, Westminster Road, from 9am to midday.
Mark would like to hear from people who want to join and is launching a Facebook page.
Veterans Mark Lomas (left) and Walter Freudenau are setting up a Veterans Breakfast Club in Macclesfield
Papa John’s is coming to Macclesfield at the former NatWest at Park Green