A 108-year-old man believed to be East Lancashire’s oldest resident has died.

Netherwood Hughes, known as Ned, was one of three surviving First World War veterans, but his family said they do not want a military funeral.

The centenarian, who was born and bred in Great Harwood, would have been 109 on June 12.

Ned, who died last Saturday at Woodlands Home for the Elderly in Clayton-le-Moors, was the middle of seven children and outlived most of his family, including two wives Annie and May. He never had any children.

His niece Ann Hutton said: "He had been ill for a few weeks and it was a very peaceful end for him.

“We don’t want a military funeral, because he had always felt uncomfortable being called a veteran as he did not see any conflict.

“He knew the last veteran to die would have a state funeral, but saw that as a way of honouring a generation who had passed. He was not one for personal attention."

When Ned was called up in 1918, he was sent to Great Yarmouth for basic training, but by the time this was completed, the war was almost at an end.

Before the call-up, he had been working as a driver, delivering cotton.

He was one of the youngest drivers of a heavy goods vehicle - but this brought him notoriety in 1917.

Ned one of the first people to be fined for breaking the 15mph speed limit.

Mrs Hutton added: “He was called a ‘menace to society’ and he said it was quite an ordeal for a lad of 17 to go to court like that. He had been driving a cotton wagon downhill and couldn’t go slower because of the weight. He was stopped by a policeman on a bicycle.”

Woodlands Care Home officer, Gina Rushton, who has known him for the past five years, said he was very popular. She said: "He was a gentleman, had very quiet manners and like to keep himself to himself. He liked to have a Guinness every night.”

She added: “It was a peaceful end for him, sat in his chair. I waved at him at 3pm as I passed his room. Half an hour later, he had passed away.”

Following the war Ned returned to England where he worked as a bus driver and set up business as a greengrocer with wife Annie in Wallasey before returning to Great Harwood to work for Bristol Aeroplane Company, which later became British Aerospace.

Ned leaves niece Ann and her husband Donald, sister-in-law Edith Hughes, he was the uncle of the late Clive Haworth and his wife Madge, and also uncle to the late Harry Haworth, nieces and nephews and extended family.

His funeral is due to be held on Tuesday when the Rev Pat Brown will conduct a service and cremation at Accrington at 11am.