A WAR hero and community leader who has died at the age of 93 has been described as a ‘real gentleman’.

RAF veteran James Dickson, from Earby, died suddenly last week.

Mr Dickson flew Halifax Bombers in the war and was part of the D-Day landings as a member of the esteemed 298 Squadron.

After his war efforts he became a well-known and popular community figure, serving as a Pendle Borough councillor for a number of years into the 1980s.

Former council colleague Doris Haigh said: “He was a real gentleman, a man of many attributes.

“He never had a crossed word with anybody, even when some of our council meetings got a bit rough around the edges he would calm everybody down.”

Earby town councillor Vera Cocker said: “James was probably one of the most wonderful people who has ever walked the earth, that is how special he was. His war efforts were phenomenal, even though he didn’t like to talk about it, he didn’t think he should be bragging about it. He was always working for the village and the town, he would help anyone he could and he never hurt a soul in his life. Virtually everybody in Earby knew him, he was incredibly popular.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I knew James quite well and he was a popular member of the community and of the local Conservative branch.

“He did a lot of voluntary work in the community and was involved in a number of community project. He was passionate about Earby.

“My thoughts are with his wife Cynthia and his family and friends.”