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British Legion ensures lonely hero doesn't die alone

Major Thomas Leslie died surrounded by British Legion members

When war hero Major Thomas Leslie was admitted to a nursing home with no money and no family it was feared the only person to attend his funeral would be the matron who cared for him.

But when she contacted the Royal British Legion and told them about the 86 year old, members rallied the troops to ensure his last days weren't spent alone and that he received the send off he deserved. Today 120 people attended his funeral in Bournemouth.

"I didn't get to meet Tom until his last days and he was such a remarkable man, he had such a remarkable history and I wish I'd known him earlier. Unfortunately these things happen and it's happening more and more with our veterans and the guys of his age. We've got so many stories that are going untold - it's just nice that we managed to get a little bit of his history before he passed on."

– Gerry Nunn, Royal British Legion

Tom served 34 years in the army and was the youngest of nine siblings but when he died at a nursing home in Friars Cliff in Christchurch there were no friends and family to mourn his passing.

"No-one should ever die alone so the nurses were amazing and sat with him until the end and it was very peaceful, dignified and he was pain free and I'm just so pleased I got in touch with the Legion because I think he would've loved this."

– Beverley Lockhart, Pinebeach Nursing Home