A WAR hero awarded the Military Medal during World War Two has died at the age of 81 after a long illness.

Henry Hodgson, known as Harry, leaves his wife Kathleen and son Barry.

Mr Hodgson, of Progress Avenue, Little Harwood, was awarded the Military Medal for rescuing a tank, under shell fire, from a minefield in North Africa using his hands to safely remove more than 20 mines.

Later, Mr Hodgson was injured by an exploding mine and had to have a series of operations.

He worked as a builder and bricklayer after the war before moving on to work for Blackburn Council's environmental health department.

He was an active member of the Royal British Legion and St Stephen's Church.

Des Owen, chairman of the services committee of the Blackburn branch of the Legion said: "Mr Hodgson was one of the most decorated men in Blackburn. He was a very pleasant fellow and never lost his sense of humour."

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