Concerned that staffers and a handful of friends would be the only ones to see the former royal marine off, Reverend Bob Mason, the local vicar, asked the Royal Marines Association to spread word of McConnell's funeral in the hopes that a few long-lost family members might show up.
And did they ever.
Thanks to a Royal Marines Association Facebook post soliciting mourners for McConnell's funeral, over 200 people showed up, including Royal British Legion standard bearers, a procession of flag-bearing motorcyclists, and even two Royal Marines Band buglers who performed the traditional military funeral bugle call "Last Post."
"It was mentioned wrongly that he did not have family," mourner Danny Marshall, a former Royal Marine himself, is quoted as saying. "The corps family is bigger and better than most people would know about. We are all family and always will be."