Friends of a war hero who died last week are hoping to replace a lost bravery medal to complete his collection.

Dave Root, 93, who had lived in The Tythings, Halstead, for 56 years, heroically pulled two American soldiers out of a blazing ambulance while serving in Italy during the Second World War.

He was awarded a Purple Heart for his actions, but Mr Root lost the medal at an Armistice Day parade in Halstead.

Mr Root will be fondly remembered by many for his generosity and kindness, and hit the headlines for his bravery on several occasions.

While on a seaside holiday with his wife Irene in 1967, he saved a six-year-old girl and a four-year-old girl from drowning in the sea in Walton-on-the-Naze.

A newspaper report from the time praised his “prompt and heroic action” and describes how a large crowd gathered to congratulate him.

Mr Root’s funeral service takes place on Thursday at 2pm at St Andrews Church, Parsonage Street, Halstead.

This will be followed by a service at the cemetery in Colchester Road. All are welcome to pay their respects.

Read more in the Halstead Gazette.