Can you help give Lancashire war hero Connie Sharples the send off she deserves?

Connie Sharples was stationed with the all-female 93rd Searchlight Regiment in London during the Blitz.
Connie Sharples was stationed with the all-female 93rd Searchlight Regiment in London during the Blitz.
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A rallying cry has been sounded across Lancashire for military veterans to attend the funeral of a female war hero.


Connie Sharples was killed in a car accident in Duddle Lane, near Walton-le-Dale Primary School, on May 14.

Connie Sharples (left) with fellow veteran Phil Burton and Janey Webster

Connie Sharples (left) with fellow veteran Phil Burton and Janey Webster

The 94-year-old had been a popular figure in the local community and a familiar face at the Veterans' Café in Leyland.

Affectionately known as 'Mother Hen' to her fellow ex-servicemen and women, Mrs Sharples was a respected veteran who fought gallantly in World War II.

A fearless Mrs Sharples had left her Lancashire home at the age of 17 to join the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service), the women's branch of the British Army during the Second World War.

Between October 1942 and July 1945, the daring teen from Walton-le-Dale served in an all-female air defence unit protecting London during the Blitz.

You can read more about Connie Sharples' war experience here.

After the Allies' triumph over Nazi Germany, Mrs Sharples returned home to Lancashire where she remained a faithful and proud supporter of the British Armed Forces.

READ MORE: War hero pensioner killed in Walton-le-Dale crash served in all-female regiment during Blitz

Following her death last month, a call went out to veterans in Lancashire to join Mrs Sharples' family at her funeral to pay their final respects to a fellow veteran.

Phil Burton, 42, from Leyland, is a former Royal Artillery Lance Bombardier who helps bring veterans together at a monthly Veterans’ Café in Leyland.

He is urging fellow veterans from the cafe and from across the county, to heed the call by attending Mrs Sharples' funeral wearing their medals and/or uniforms.

Mrs Sharples was a frequent visitor to the Veterans' Cafe, where she would captivate volunteers and vets with her memories of serving with the ATS.

Mr Burton said: "Calling all veterans and all serving members of the armed forces. Connie's family would like to invite all of the veteran family, and all who have a connection with the military, to say their final goodbye to Connie Sharples.

"Let's get as many veterans as possible together and give this World War II veteran the send-off she truly deserves."

Following her death last month, friends and volunteers at the Veterans' Cafe paid tribute to their 'Mother Hen'.

"What a wonderful lady. May you rest in peace and we salute you for all you did for our country", one tribute read.

"This lady was an inspiration to all. She was the face of our veterans’ cafe, we all called her Mother Hen", remembered Phil Mark.

"A strong and courageous woman who would serve as a great role model to anyone, not just women", said another volunteer.

"To realise the hardship and cost of a world war makes for a life much more appreciated. Rest in peace Connie Sharples. You did more than your bit."

Connie Sharples' funeral will take place on Friday, June 7 at 11am at St Aidans Parish Church, Station Road, Bamber Bridge, PR5 6QL.

The funeral will be followed by a service at Charnock Richard Crematorium at 12.30pm.