A former war hero who went on to become the chairman of the West Bromwich Building Society has died after a short illness.

Frank Pool Dilkes, who was associated with the Midlands financial giant for nearly 50 years, died on February 22 aged 91.

Born in 1918 in Nottingham and raised in the city, Mr Dilkes took up his first position at Nottingham Building Society in 1935 as a clerk and cashier.

After the Second World War, which he spent predominantly in India and Burma where he was mentioned in dispatches and received the oak leaf insignia for his medals, he privately studied for a degree and his chartered secretary qualifications and in 1957 joined the Dewsbury & West Riding Building Society as assistant secretary.

In September 1958 he joined West Bromwich Building Society as assistant manager before rising to managing director by 1965. During this time he saw the society through a period of expansion from one office to a large network of offices in the Midlands and parts of Wales. In 1965 he was elected to the board and in 1978 he oversaw the opening of the new principal office.

On his retirement Mr Dilkes was appointed chairman of the West Brom until his complete retirement in 1990. He was awarded an OBE for services to Building Societies in 1989.

He is survived by his four children Paul, Teresa, David and Simon.

His funeral will take place at 11am on Thursday March 11 at St Mary the Mount Roman Catholic Church, Glebe Street, Walsall.