THE funeral of a World War II RAF hero is to be moved to a bigger venue after hundreds of people came forward to pay tribute to him.
Flt Sgt Peter Brown’s send-off has been postponed after a massive appeal from The Sun to find his lost family sparked a worldwide scramble.
Organisers have been inundated with requests from people wanting to pay tribute to the flight operator.
He is believed to be one of the last black RAF WWII servicemen and died alone last year aged 96.
Politicians including PM Rishi Sunak, Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace helped our push to find any of his family – and came together to give him the funeral he deserves after serving the country.
The service was due to be held in a 140-capacity chapel in Richmond, South West London, on Wednesday, but will now be postponed after the heartwarming response – which was expected to draw huge crowds.
Ministers are trying to organise an RAF fly-past to mark the send-off.
Efforts are still ongoing to see if there are any surviving members of his family abroad who may want to attend.
Organisers also want to try and find a larger venue closer to where Brown lived for more than 50 years in Maida Vale, and are scouting out several locations.
Born in Jamaica in 1926, Sgt Brown enlisted in the RAF Volunteer Reserve in September 1943.
He trained as a wireless operator/air gunner and was posted to RAF Scampton.
After the war ended, he re-enlisted in the RAF, working as a signaller, and later a driver, and later for the Ministry of Defence.
A Westminster City Council spokesperson said: “Details of the future date and venue are still being finalised but will be announced as soon as possible.
“We are looking to secure a venue closer to Mr Brown’s home in Westminster.
“Westminster City Council, which is legally responsible for the funeral, said it became clear that the original plans were too small after a hugely successful call-out for mourners by the media and online.
“We really want to thank the group that has convened to support the council in making arrangements.
“Additional time will allow the council to work with well-wishers, community groups and the military to give Mr Brown the send-off he deserves.
“The priority remains providing Mr Brown a fitting, dignified funeral and allowing everyone who wishes to pay their respects the chance to do so.”
An RAF spokesperson said that we should “never forget” the sacrifices made by personnel like Sgt Brown.
“Flight Sergeant Brown is an example of the selfless contribution of all Commonwealth personnel who have served throughout the RAF’s history,” the spokesperson said.
“We should never forget their sacrifices which have defended our freedom and kept us safe.”