The son of an elderly man recovered from the River Aire in Leeds has told how an SOS identity bracelet he gave his father days before he disappeared led to his identification.
Ex-soldier Walter Dyson, 75, was found in the water near the Royal Armouries Museum on June 8. It is believed he disappeared four or five weeks earlier.
He had worked as a miner, coalman, milkman, postman, beer drayman, warehouseman and bus conductor as well as serving 16 years in the army.
Son Chris Clark-Dyson said he did not see his father frequently, but he and his sister Alison and their five children were on good terms with their dad who had parted from their mother Maureen over 20 years ago.
“I had not seen him for a few months and took the day off after a mental prompting to ‘go and find my dad’. I found him at General Elliot pub in Vicar Lane.
“His health had deteriorated. He had a heart attack and was in hospital last September, but discharged himself. My sister tried to help him, but he could be stubborn.
“I gave him an SOS bracelet with my contact details on a piece of paper inside and told him not to take it off,” said Mr Clark-Dyson.
This, coupled with items on the body and uncashed benefits, pointed police to the identity.
At an inquest on Mr Dyson on June 13, police ruled out suspicious circumstances. Further tests are needed to determine the exact cause of death.
Mr Dyson-Clark said his father moved around, sometimes staying with friends and latterly in bed and breakfast at The Regent pub in Leeds centre.
He had served with the 9/12th Royal Lancers reaching the rank of L/Cpl and working on tanks. He served twice in Northern Ireland and also in Aden, Jordan and in Germany where the family had lived.
Mr Clark-Dyson said his father was such a loving dad he once went absent without leave to be with he and his sister when they were very ill.
“He always said he was a ‘jack of all trades and a master of none’,” said Mr Clark-Dyson. “He was a happy and care-free man with a lot of friends.”
A memorial will held and his regiment will be represented.