A woman has made her annual remembrance week trip to Utley Cemetery this week to decorate the grave of a famous war hero.

Marion Aston, 49, from Cross Hills, has been tending the grave of Napoleonic War veteran Christopher Ingham for a number of years.

The former Royal Navy hygienist also makes a point of putting a poppy and a wooden cross on the grave each November.

She said: "Even though he didn't play a part in the world wars he still deserves recognition. He's a hero."

The real-life exploits and heroic deeds of the soldier have been claimed to be the inspiration for Bernard Cornwell's saga about Major Richard Sharpe -- played by Sheffield-born Sean Bean in the TV adaptation.

The dental hygienist, from the Earl Royd Dental Centre, has always been interested in the Cornwell hero. When she found out he had strong links with a man buried in Keighley, she decided to visit the grave. She said: "It was really quite overgrown and if you leave them like that, it's likely that all the engravings will fade away. I think it deserves better than that."

She visits the grave three times a year to clear the moss from the flat tombstone.

According to the gravestone, Mr Ingham was a member of the Duke of Wellington's crack 95th Rifle Regiment, used in front of the main army to take-out officers.

He survived ten battles against Napoleon's forces in Spain, France and Belgium between 1807 and 1815.

This included the Spanish Peninsula War and the infamous Battle of Waterloo, for which he won several medals, including the Peninsula Medal.

Mr Ingham settled in Keighley after the war and took over as landlord of the Reservoir Tavern, in West Lane. He died in 1866. He was in his 80s.

In 1996, the penultimate episode of Sharpe was filmed at East Riddlesden Hall.