Friends and family have paid tribute to a great-grandfather and community stalwart who rubbed shoulders with royalty.

Dennis Moore died at the age of 85 after a fall at his home in Vicarage Road, Leyton, on January 25.

Friends of the late president of the Leyton Royal British Legion (RBL) will give him a military-style send off on Thursday to mark a colourful life dedicated to his family and serving his country.

Mr Moore spent his youth serving in the elite Coldstream Guards after signing up in 1945 aged 18.

He fought deep in the jungle in Malaya during the country’s Communist uprising against colonial forces.

There he dodged snipers and was exposed to such heat it is believed it led to skin cancer later in life.

Daughter Lauraine Hadden, 57, said: "He loved being a soldier. He told us so many stories of his experiences."

Mr Moore met his wife Eileen after she volunteered as a pen pal to a soldier posed abroad.

Mrs Moore, now 82, said: "He wanted me to send him my photograph but I wouldn’t, everyone was falling in love and I didn’t want to do that.

"But my mum said to give him a chance – we ended up spending our lives together."

On his return Mr Moore spent time as the Guards’ master cook in Wellington Barracks, just 300 yards from Buckingham Palace.

He left to become a hospital porter in 1969, and after early retirement he joined the Corp of Commissionaires in 1985, a security firm comprised of ex-military servicemen and women.

It was in this role that he met royals including Prince Charles, managing security for events at Windsor, Ascot and other places.

Mrs Hadden, who helped organise the events, said: "He was really well-loved and he even used to make the Queen Mother’s sandwiches.

"One time I was sitting down with Prince Charles and Dad gave us a telling off for chatting when it was busy – he was so funny."

His love of military life continued and in the early 1990s Mr Moore, also known affectionately as Danny, helped found the Leyton RBL.

Club secretary Roy Darvill said: "It’s such a blow. Everybody loved Danny. He really was the heart of the legion. People just can’t believe he’s gone."