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Military Funerals

Military or Civic Funerals in Manchester

Funeral Services for Current or Former Military Personnel

The death of current or former service personnel, whether on active service or not, may involve special procedures and under certain circumstances will entitle the deceased to a military funeral.

When we think of these, we usually think of the special military funerals that may take place to honour members of the armed forces who died on active service, prominent military figures or heads of state, including the recent military funerals for service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, or historical events such as the military burial of Winston Churchill in 1965. A military funeral typically includes various martial elements such as a flag-draped coffin, the firing of volleys and the playing of The Last Post.

Certificate from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 2014

Death in Military Service

Should personnel die in military service, the Casualty reporting requirements are the same as other casualty events in the first instance. The JCCC will then instigate the appropriate follow-on actions, which may include repatriation of the deceased to the UK, registration of the death and marking of the grave.

In association with our SPVA colleagues at Norcross, we work closely with the Notifying Authority, the Casualty Notification Officer (CNO) and the Visiting Officer (VO) to ensure that families are supported throughout such difficult occasions.

The SPVA is the single point of contact for bereaved families on all financial matters relating to Service in the Armed Forces and operates a Freephone Helpline on 0800 169 22 77. The Helpline can offer advice on pension, compensation, accommodation, pay and allowance issues. However, VO’s or families seeking specialist advice on repatriation, funeral entitlements, the marking of graves or estate issues should contact the JCCC direct.

Anyone who dies in military service is entitled to a funeral at public expense (A Service Funeral) plus an additional funeral grant. Alternatively, where the family prefers to organise a private funeral, the Ministry of Defense will provide a larger grant towards the cost.

If a Service funeral is held, the JCCC offers to provide a military pattern headstone, urn plot marker or entry in a Book of Remembrance, at public expense, as a memorial to the deceased. Service headstones will be maintained in perpetuity (subject to certain conditions) under arrangements put in place by the JCCC or the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Help with Funeral Expenses

For anyone who has served in the armed forces, it may be possible to obtain assistance with funeral arrangements. It may be possible to get help from the United Kingdom Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), a Ministry of Defence (MOD) organisation aimed at improving personnel, pensions, welfare and support services to members of the Armed Forces and veterans. The SPVA, launched in 2007, covers all sorts of support and welfare issues, including veterans benefits.

Depending upon individual circumstances, the SPVA may be able to help with funeral expenses for a simple funeral in the UK if any of the following apply:

  1. The death was due to military service

  2. War Pensions Constant Attendance Allowance was being paid or would have been paid if the war pensioner had not been in hospital when they died

  3. Unemployability Supplement was being paid at the time of death and the SPVA had assessed a War Disablement Pension at 80% or more

  4. The person died while in hospital receiving treatment for a disablement for which they received a War Disablement Pension

If war veterans require help with funeral expenses, a claim must be made on a War Disablement Pension WPA 0010 Funeral Expenses Claim Form, which is obtainable from the SPVA.

The SPVA also runs the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), the department primarily responsible for monitoring and actioning certain procedures for UK military personnel if they become notifiable casualties in the UK or overseas.

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The Royal British Legion

A video documenting the work and campaigns led by the Royal British Legion, in support of all British military veterans and their families

Useful Contacts & Links


Telephone: 020 7218 9000

Thornton Cleveleys

Telephone (UK): 0800 169 34 58
Telephone (Overseas): +44 (0)1253 866043

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
RAF Innsworth

Telephone: +44 (0)1452 519951

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION Greater Manchester County Office
Byrom House
21 Quay Street
M3 3JD

Telephone: +44 (0)161 835 2611