The man believed to be the last Cumbrian soldier to fight in D-Day, John Higgins of Workington has been hailed as a hero following his passing.

John Higgins passed away aged 93 and has been called a "hero" by his son Gary Higgins.

He was involved in some of the biggest events in our wartime history including the Battle of Arnhem.

The British Legion has paid tribute to Mr Higgins, saying: "Alongside their American cousins, nearly 160,000 men from Britain and the commonwealth landed on the beaches of Normandy. Today we stand in awe of their achievement and we will never forget their bravery and the sacrifices they made."

They believe Mr Higgins to be the last Cumbrian Normandy veteran.

Born in 1925 at Low Harrington, Mr Higgins enlisted in the Grenadier Guards in 1943.

His son Gary spoke about a photo of his father in the Grenadier Guards training platoon at Caterham referring to him as a "Schoolboy in uniform".

Gary said: "Just twelve months later, he was on the Normandy beaches.

"He described losing his best mate at the time," Mr Higgins' comrade was killed in the trench next to him.

Gary said: "He was only 19 when that was going on."

Having completed his training, Mr Higgins graduated to Guards Armoured Division. With the division, Mr Higgins fought in the D-Day invasion between June 13 and 26 as well as the historic Battle of Arnhem.

Gary Higgins said: "With our heroes disappearing from our lives, it is very easy to forget the sacrifice they made to allow us to live the lives we do."

Upon the end of the fighting, Mr Higgins was involved in a peace-keeping force which oversaw the creation of Israel in May 1948.

He then served in bases across the world including: London, Germany; Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst and Edinburgh; Colchester and Tidworth.

During his tenure, he received the Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 1963. Gary said: "Though dad was a very proud veteran, he was also very humble regarding his service."

Having served for 24 years, Mr Higgins returned to his hometown of Workington in 1967. He worked at Iggesund Paperboard, then named Thames Board Mills as well as British Gas.

Tony Cunningham presented John with his Legion d'Honneur award in 2017. The medal is issued by the French government as a token of appreciation to soldiers who liberated the country in World War Two.