Met him, once: Bassingbourn Bks, after the 1977 fireman's strike that preceded the election - for which he was campaigning - of one M Thatcher. He came to meet my Platoon (who had spent 6 weeks saving Leicester from fiery destruction) in the Nissen hut cinema there.
Whatever his war record (of which I knew nothing - and my knowledge ain't much better now), my abiding recollection is of being exposed to a professional oily, opportunist politician.
I hope that doesn't sound like speaking ill of the dead: it is what I remember of the living man.
They're all oily bastards. That's the base standard, and without it they'd all be scrabbling around at the bottom of the greasy pole. What set this man apart from most of the rest of them was that he had an honest vision of what his role in Parliament was. He had also previously put himself in the line with the rest of the infantry (so to speak). Whatever you or I could challenge him with in our military service, he could almost certainly top it. Another, slightly less memorable politician said of him that "He thought of himself primarily as a public servant". That's a model of which I can't think of any other British politician today.