War veteran who was made honorary citizen of Valletta passes away

Decorated Royal Navy veteran and author George Southern has died at 98.

Born in Leeds in 1921, he left school at 14 to start work as an apprentice joiner. In 1940, he joined the Roundhay Division of the Local Defence Volunteers, the original name for the Home Guard, before being drafted into the Navy in February 1942.

After basic training on HMS Collingwood in Hampshire, he travelled to Glasgow to join the newly commissioned Hunt Class destroyer, HMS Zetland.

The craft was deployed on Atlantic and Mediterranean escort duties, including the Malta supply convoys of 1942, which saw the island come under fierce attack and led to Southern being made an honorary citizen of Valletta.

After the war, he moved to Scarborough with his wife Kay, whom he had married in Leeds during his first time on leave.