Leominster lacks a town crier but it hardly needs one now because the 'Booming Brigadier' has become mayor.

Brigadier Peter Jones, who is famous for his voice - which is similar to a 21-gun salute - joked with guests at the mayor-making ceremony last Saturday that he would do the crier's job as well as being civic leader.

"Peter is a character - you can hear him all over Leominster," the retiring mayor, Janet Atkinson, said of the man who made many a squaddie shake in his boots.

"I can assure you his mayoral year won't be a dull one," said Labour councillor John Thomas, who nominated the True Blue Brigadier for the red robes and gold chain.

For Peter Jones, aged 65, the new 'forward position' is the latest advance in what Mr Thomas, his colleague on the town and county councils, described as a 'glittering' career.

The boy from a council house - his father was a coach builder and sheet metal worker - served as the Army's top man in the Falklands and Northern Ireland at stages in his career.

He was the UK embassy's military attach in Moscow from 1990-93. Entering 'civvy street' he took a top job as United Nations peacekeeping chief in the former Yugoslavia.

Over the years, he undertook Army postings from Canada to Cyprus to Belize, Brunei and Zimbabwe and ran a Commanding Officers' course at a military college. Along the way he gained the MBE and later the CBE.

Pointing to his 'very ordinary' origins, Brigadier Jones told the Hereford Times: "I am a great believer in social mobility and am proud of what I achieved."

He told guests at the Mayor-making that, though the role lacked real power, he aimed to help everyone in Leominster fulfil their potential as far as he was able.

He also wants to work for a cleaner town and to encourage residents to tackle litter 'rather than picking up the phone and complaining'.

He paid tribute to his predecessor Janet Atkinson for her thoroughness and 'doing a tremendous job'.

The new mayor's wife, Liz, takes on the role of mayoress. New deputy mayor is Councillor Roger Hunt.

Brigadier Jones continues as acting chairman of the Minster College governors, a member of the Fire Authority and as a Priory churchwarden.