A hero and an inspiration – that's how the family of war veteran Oswald Brown remembered him at his funeral.

The 100-year-old, who passed away last month, was carried into Distington Hall Crematorium by members of the Royal Engineers Association's West Cumberland Branch.

His coffin was draped in their flag and mourners followed the branch's standard.

Celebrant Will Tillotson opened the ceremony with a poem before delivering a eulogy, telling stories of Mr Brown's life in Whitehaven and experiences in World War Two.

Mr Brown, who was a resident at Wyndham Manor Care Home in Cleator Moor, was a prisoner of war at Stalag 18 - a camp in Southern Austria which was part of the Third Reich - from 1941 to 1945.

Stalag 18 detained British and Commonwealth prisoners, who were captured during the battles of Greece and Crete in 1941, and, while there, Mr Brown endured a typhus epidemic, frostbite and overcrowded conditions.

He was liberated after the end of the war on May 29, 1945 and married his late wife, Margaret, in 1946. They had two children, Sheila, who passed away five years ago, and Frank.

The congregation heard how when Mr Brown was born his parents hadn't been expecting a boy as he was the youngest of six and the first boy.

Searching for a name after his birth, his father went into the street and asked the first man he saw what his name was – Oswald.

Mr Brown, who worked at Haig Pit, was described as a sociable man, who loved watching sport. One of his grandchildren said they were there to "celebrate the amazing life of my hero" and "inspiration".

She described Mr Brown as the "most amazing person ever", adding: "I love you to the moon and back. You will be sadly missed."

Mr Tillotson said that Mr Brown was a "very caring family man", who had "never wanted to talk about his experiences in the war".

However, he said he was "beaming" when members of the Royal Engineers Association visited him on his 100th birthday.

Mr Brown, a sapper in the forces, will be recorded in the Corps of Royal Engineers book of Remembrance and his name proudly placed on the branch's honour board at Workington Veterans Club.

He leaves five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.