A LEADING Salvation Army officer has died in Huddersfield.
Lt-Col John George Gardner has died at the age of 102.
He was a true Salvation Army character, serving 80 years and eight months.
Mr Gardner was a typical product of his generation, forged by a tough upbringing and two world wars.
He was born in Medomsley, Co Durham, the only one of his seven siblings to attend Sunday school.
At the age of 12 he joined his father working down the coal mines, later becoming a delivery boy for a bakery.
In 1922, he moved to London, to study for nearly a year at the Salvation Army Training College in Denmark Hill.
On qualifying as a minister, he preached around the South of England until 1937.
In 1929, he married his wife, Violet, in Aldershot. The couple had a daughter, Muriel.
At the outbreak of the Second World War Mr Gardner joined the Salvation Army Naval and Military section, which cared for the battle troops.
He served in Gibraltar for two-and-a-half years.
In peacetime, he returned to England for some years, before moving to Germany in 1961 to take charge of the Salvation Army there. He retired in 1966.
Mr Gardner later lived in Bridlington and Chester and latterly at Thornleigh Lodge Residential Home, Edgerton, and Aden View Residential Home in Primrose Hill.
His wife died in 1992.
Mr Gardner leaves his daughter, son-in -law, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.