Leeds salutes proud life of old soldier Harold Riley

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Old soldier Harold Riley often spoke of how proud he would be to receive a telegram from the Queen on the day he turned 100.

Sadly, Harold’s wish never came true as he passed away at St James’s Hospital in Leeds earlier this month aged 99.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

But, in a touching tribute, his family arranged for his funeral to take place today (Nov 1) on what would have been his 100th birthday.

And their hope that the Armed Forces community and other people across the city would turn out to help give Harold one final salute was answered.

His great-niece, Yvonne Miranda, 33, from Halton, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “He was like a grandfather to me, so loving and kind. He may have been 99 but he still thought of himself as 29. He was a real character, very determined and always saying how much he wanted to get that telegram from the Queen.

Harold saw action with the Irish Guards during the Second World War and was wounded when he took two bullets from a German soldier in Belgium.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

He spent much of his life in Oldham but more recently was a resident at Colton Lodges Nursing Home in Leeds.

Harold, who used to work as a transport manager, had many relatives in the city and was particularly close to Yvonne’s mum, Maggie Miranda.

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Harold Riley.

Harold Riley.

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Harold Riley as a young man.

Harold Riley as a young man.

Fundraisers gather at Leeds Minster in 2015 to raise money for Simon on the Streets. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

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