ONE of the most famous members of Hereford's SAS regiment has died.

John 'Brummie' Stokes helped to make the elite unit famous on an international scale after climbing Everest in the 1970s.

The soldier, who received an MBE, was also well known for his work with the Taste for Adventure centre in Credenhill.

Read his family's tribute (with his funeral information) here

He was born in 1945 in the mining village of Hamstead, just outside Birmingham and it was at 17-years-old that he became a military man and after three years service with the Royal Green Jackets he enlisted into the SAS regiment.

During the next 23 years, he was to take part in active duty all over the world including the Falkland Islands, and was several times decorated.

He always loved mountaineering and with another SAS climber, Bronco Lane, they both joined an expedition to Nuptse, Everest’s near neighbour in 1975- four men died on that trip.

The following year on an army expedition to Mount Everest, Brummie and Bronco went on to make it to the summit. On the way down, they faced appalling conditions, which resulted in both of them losing their toes through frostbite.

They waited for their operations to amputate their toes for three months, after which they had to learn to walk, run and climb again, with only half their feet.

It was 1984 that found him climbing on the north face of Everest. An avalanche wiped out advanced base camp, killing one of the members and injuring several others. Brummie suffered a broken neck.

After leaving the army in 1985 he obtained a permit from the Chinese to climb the north east ridge of Everest, the only remaining unclimbed route on the mountain. At 26,000ft, they were forced to abandon their assault owing to abnormally hazardous weather conditions.

He completed the north-east, unclimbed section of the ridge of Mount Everest, but unfortunately suffered three attacks of cerebral oedema which partially paralysed him.

In 1991 Brummie founded the Taste for Adventure Centre in Credenhill, which he ran with his wife Lynn and a team of qualified staff.

It is an outdoor activity centre for less privileged children.

Brummie was awarded an MBE in recognition of his work in 2004.

Hundreds of readers have been paying tribute to Brummie on the Hereford Times Facebook page and website.

Here are just some of the many that have poured in so far:

Iamso Crafty - RIP Brummie. The world is a sadder place without you.

Kerry Bird - R.I.P deepest respects to a great SAS pilgrim legend. Rest easy.

Lisa Wathen - So very sad news R.I.P Brummie. Thinking about his wife and family at this sad time.

Tony Osman - So sad to hear you have left us too soon Brummie you will be missed by all that knew you sleep now your work is done here. Thank you for all the good you have done in your life to help others may God bless.

Amy Ward - That's terrible frown emoticon he is truly one of the great ones, sending love to all his family xx

Samantha Priday - RIP Brummie- you've left a huge legacy! Take it easy now.

Robert Spike Williams - What a loss, Top Bloke. RIP Brum.

Jo Alderton - This is very sad! This guy helped me overcome so many fears whilst sandwiched between rocks and hiking through waterfalls. Thank you !! RIP x

Nicky Griffiths - Sad loss he was an inspiration and was a fit bloke - taste for adventure brings outdoor opportunities for young people and this service is without his military achievements RIP

Jim Kenyon - Big hero of mine I was a Cub Scout when he came along to talk to us about Everest in the 70's then I was lucky enough to meet him on numerous occasions then last year help him to find funding for taste of adventure he was poorly then with his chest but never stopped caring about others nice bloke with a kind heart.

Di Nav Rest - Easy Soldier. Thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.

Vicky Rogers - What an amazing and inspirational man when ever you asked brummie how he was he always replied "I'm top of the world" what a shame he's been taken so soon RIP brummie xxx

Donna Williams - Very sad news! This man convinced me amazingly to absail the Welsh water tower despite my fear of heights assuring me I was safe in his hands! A true legend! RIP X

Rob Kent - As a child growing up in Hereford Brummie Stokes was a hero to us kids. Having met him in the 90's at one of the many charity events he supported, he was a real gent. Sad to say goodbye.