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Frederick Leach has no known family living near him prompting council bosses to launch appeal.

A 94-year-old war hero with no family looks set to get the fitting send-off he deserves after a huge response for people to attend his funeral.

Council bosses issued an appeal last week for members of the public to attend the funeral of Frederick Leach.

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

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

And it has emerged that a huge response has been generated by the public within minutes of the appeal being launched.

Captain Dennis Appleyard, of the the Green Howards Association, 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.

Speaking to the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough, Jenni Malt said she had shared the story on Facebook and her ex-Green Howard dad 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. “

Remember him showing us his medals and not really knowing or understanding what they were.”

“Years later and a tour of Bosnia and two tours of Iraq later – it’s a real eye opener.

“Unfortunately I live down south now so don’t think I’d be able to make it, but I do hope there is a bit of a turn out, particularly from the ex-service community.”

The response has been similar to that which followed the death of former Dambuster Harold Percival of Lytham St Annes.

His funeral looked set to be unattended only for hundreds to turn up after an appeal in the local newspaper and on social media.

Speaking about Mr Leach’s funeral, councillor Sheelagh Clarke said: “We have had a fantastic response from the Armed Forces community and are reasonably confident Frederick’s funeral will be well attended.

“We have also heard from some of his old friends from Erimus Social Club, in South Bank, who tell us he used to go there and that they would like to attend too.

“Unfortunately we still haven’t heard from any of Frederick’s relatives but we are following up on a few leads and we are still hoping to have family representation at the funeral.”

It is hoped full details of Mr Leach’s funeral arrangements can be released early next week.

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