VETERANS were thanked for turning out to pay tribute to a fellow serviceman.

The Leader reported earlier this week how an appeal was launched for people to attend the funeral of David Butler.

Mr Butler, a former Royal Marine from Holywell, died at Glan Clwyd Hospital in April and had no known relatives.

Graham Jones, chairman of Royal Marine Association for North Wales, arranged the funeral and called on veterans to attend in order to show appreciation for his service.

The funeral took place at Flintshire Memorial Park and Crematorium on Friday morning and saw between 150 and 200 people attend.

Mr Jones, who is also a project officer for North Wales armed forces charity Woody's Lodge, told the Leader: "David passed away at Glan Clwyd hospital and as he has no immediate family there was no one really to help organise a proper funeral for him.

Because he was an armed forces veteran, we decided we would take on the role to arrange his funeral. "We have arranged for payment through charities which support Royal Marines and the Royal Navy.

"It shouldn't happen to any member of the community, but being an armed forces veteran, we're very proud of what we are and what we did in the past.

"David served in warzones in Aden and Northern Ireland so his service shouldn't go unrecognised. "We have arranged the funeral to pay respect to David and also show the veterans community that there is support out there for them and that we're one brotherhood.

"It's a fantastic turnout, we really could not have hoped for better - and it's not just Royal Marines, we have a tri-force service here.

"It shows that the veterans community show appreciation to their brothers."

Mr Jones thanked all attendees for turning out to pay their respects to Mr Butler.

Joe Whelan, ex-Navy submariner and standard bearer for Prees-Hodnant and district, said he was proud to see so many people turn out to pay tribute to Mr Butler.

He said: "It's a great turnout - I'm very pleased to see so much support."

Mr Butler served between 1965 and 1980 and as well as serving in Northern Ireland and Cyprus he also served in Aden.

He went into the Royal Marines at 18. When he left the service, he lived in Holywell and became a painter and decorator.