DENNIS Wimbles ran away from home to join the Army as a boy soldier.
Mr Wimbles, of Rastrick, went on to serve for 25 years with the Green Howards, rising to the rank of regimental sergeant major.
He has died suddenly aged 71.
Born in Nelson, Lancashire, he ran away to join the Boys’ Service when he was about 15.
Mr Wimbles, who came out of the Army in the mid-1980s, went on to run The Pressers Arms in South Lane, Elland, and also owned an off-licence shop in Thornhill Road, Rastrick.
He also worked for Grattan, the catalogue company in Bradford, and as a security guard.
In July 1993 the Examiner reported how Mr Wimbles and his wife June – who lived in Fixby at the time – were victims of a terrifying armed robbery while on holiday in Florida.
The couple were threatened at gunpoint by two masked raiders who burst into their motel room as they slept.
The couple had their wallets, passports, camera and jewellery stolen.
Mr Wimbles died of a heart attack on Boxing Day.
His wife died three years ago aged 67. The couple had met in a dance hall in Huddersfield.
Mr Wimbles leaves three sons Gary, 45, Dean, 42, and Steven, 37, and four grandchildren.
A funeral service was held at St Matthew’s Church, Rastrick.