Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

War Hero Looks Set for Fitting Send-Off

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

War Hero Looks Set for Fitting Send-Off

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Robson Senior reporter dave.robson@eveninggazette.co.uk

A WAR hero looks like getting the well-attended funeral he deserves after a heartwarming response to a rallying call.

The Gazette told yesterday of fears that the funeral of former Green Howard Frederick Leach could go unattended.

Mr Leach - who died on November 4, aged 94 - was the last surviving Green Howard from a battle in Ottta, Norway, where the 1st Battalion came under heavy fire from 200 German Stuka dive bombers, yet bravely held their line against the enemy.

With no known family living near him, Redcar and Cleveland Council was managing his care and finances - and is now organising his funeral.

But to ensure some people attend, the council appealed for relatives, old soldiers and members of the public to turn up. And if the initial reaction is anything to go by, it seems this true Teesside war hero will get a fitting send-off.

The Green Howards Association's Middlesbrough branch was already mobilising members. And within minutes of our story going online, readers were also offering support.

Captain Dennis Appleyard said that as soon as the funeral details are finalised, he will pass them on to Middlesbrough branch members and put them on their website.

He said: "I think there'll be a very good response. A few people on our Facebook page have already said they have every intention of going. There's a comradeship involved here."

Middlesbrough branch member Mick Russell said he and colleague Ron Chambers hoped to attend as standard bearers. The Last Post is also set to be played.

On www.gazettelive.co.uk, Jenni Malt said she had shared the story on Facebook and her ex-Green Howard dad from Eston would do the same. "Would hate for this gentleman not to have a proper send-off," she said.

Darren Beatson said that as a child he used to live on the same road as Mr Leach. …

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