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War hero dies from pneumonia aged 85

A war veteran from Belfast who survived the battles of the Second World War and the torture of a prisoner-of-war camp in Korea has died from pneumonia at the age of 85.

Martin Vance, who was proud to be part of the Royal Ulster Rifles, was adorned with nine decorations for his service in combat.

The decorations include the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Korea Medal.

His proud son Martin Junior said: “He put his life on the line for everybody. He came across a French woman and her young daughter who were starving and he gave them his rations — his own personal food.

“The woman was so grateful she offered him her wedding ring, which he didn’t take.”

A funeral took place for the war hero at St Brendan’s Church in Belfast on Tuesday.

Following the service, Mr Vance was cremated at Roselawn Cemetery and Crematorium.

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