A war hero who received the Military Medal for rescuing an injured major at the Battle of Arnhem has died at the age of 86.

Lionel Driver, who was born in Surbiton, was just 18 when he was with two platoons caught in stiff fighting crossing the River Lek in September 1944.

He was serving as batman to Major A J G Crocker, who was wounded in the legs as he reached the opposite bank.

According to a Surrey Comet article reporting his decoration the following year, Maj Crocker "was taken across the river and was carried by Pte Driver...some distance to a medical post behind the soft bank of the river".

Mr Driver joined the East Surrey Regiment in February 1944, but was later drafted into the 4th Dorset to replace lost men.

His widow Jeanette met him in 1940 when her family moved from London to Surbiton to escape the bombing, and he was a friend of the boy next door. They married in 1948.

She only heard about his heroics when she was sent an article about the battle published in a Dorset newspaper, and contacted the Surrey Comet so they let could his friends in Kingston know.

She said was a very modest man, and did not even wear his medal on Armistice Day.

She said: "He was such an unassuming person, but when it came to it he was there, an old-fashioned English man, rock solid."

He originally worked in Moor’s Nursery in Hook, replacing his seven-year older brother Reginald when he went to war, but later worked for Surrey County Council for 41 years.

Mr Driver died on Saturday, February 25, and is survived by his brother, who spent five years as a prisoner of war, his children Stephen and June, and a granddaughter and grandson.