HE was a true war hero. And now 100-year-old Fred Leach will be laid to rest with military honours.

Local officials of the Army Veterans Association will be at Edgerton Cemetery tomorrow to pay their last respects to the man who received the Military Medal for single-handedly capturing a Japanese position during the Second World War.

The father-of-seven, formerly of Sheepridge and Bradley, died last week.

Mr Leach was born in Halifax three days after the Titanic sank but he was put in an orphanage when he was just two, staying there for six years before rejoining his father in Huddersfield..

Mr Leach joined the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1929 and served in various parts of the British Empire during the 1930s.

He fought in Afghanistan in the early 1930s and was stationed in Cyprus, Iraq and Egypt. He was in Quetta, now a part of Pakistan, in 1935 when there was a huge earthquake.

Mr Leach left the Army in 1938, but rejoined after the Second World War broke out the following year.

He fought against the Italians in Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia. After that he went to Egypt to fight against Rommel.

He became a corporal in the West Yorkshire Regiment and spent the latter part of the war fighting the Japanese in Burma and India, including the battles of Kohima and Imphal.

On February 9, 1944 his regiment ambushed a Japanese position at Arakan in Burma, killing 433 men.

However, one soldier remained alive and, hidden among the corpses, he sniped and threw grenades at the British.

Mr Leach attempted to kill him with grenades and a machine-gun. He eventually killed the Japanese soldier at point-blank range.

Mr Leach was awarded the Military Medal for his courage. He was given the award by King George VI in 1946.

Mr Leach married Marjorie Shaw in 1938. After the war the couple settled at Riddings Road in Sheepridge.

The couple had seven children, 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Mr Leach worked at L B Holliday’s dyeworks and as a moulder at an iron foundry at Leeds Road.

He moved to live in Norristhorpe after the death of his wife two years ago.

His burial will take place at an Army plot at Edgerton Cemetery tomorrow at 11am.