Arnhem hero Leo, 95, laid to rest with full military honours

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Dressed in their finest military regalia, ex-paras honoured their friend Leo Hall, 95, as he was laid to rest.

The Second World War veteran from Leyland, who was one of the last men off the bridge at Arnhem, was hailed as an ‘airborne warrior’.

Both his son Alan Hall, who flew back to the UK from Singapore, and his granddaughter Nicola Hall spoke at his funeral at Leyland St Mary’s Church on Friday.

Leo was a well decorated soldier who served with the 1st Airborne Division in the Second World War. He was president of the Central Lancashire Parachute Regiment Association up until his death.

Speaking to the Guardian after the funeral, Bob Thornwaite, standard barer at CLPRA, said: “It was very well attended and the weather held out. It was a good tribute and he’ll be sadly missed especially by us but he’ll be very proud of what we’ve done.

“There are not many like him, he was unique.”

Mark Hall from the 103 Regiment Royal Artillery played The Last Post on the bugle as the service drew to a close. After the funeral friends and family went on to Preston Crematorium. A reception was then held at the Wellington Park in Leyland.

Leo served in North Africa and Italy before Arnhem and wrote a book about his exploits called Fit to Drop.

His health started deteriorating in autumn and he died in Royal Preston Hospital where he was taken after a fall

“He’ll be missed because he was a tower of strength really,” said Terry Kenyon, secretary of CLPRA. “He had a good head on him.

“He was a hero, let’s put it that way. He was an airborne warrior.”