A DALE community is mourning the loss of one of its leading figures following the death of the 11th Lord Barnard, who has died at the age of 92.

Harry John Neville Vane, 11th Baron Barnard, died on Sunday at his home in Raby Castle, near Staindrop in Teesdale.

Born September 21, 1923, he was the son of Christopher Vane, 10th Lord Barnard, and Sylvia Straker. He took over his role in 1964 following the death of his father.

Educated at Eton, he graduated from Durham University with a Master of Science.

In 1952 he married Lady Davina Mary Cecil, daughter of David Cecil, 6th Marquess of Exeter at St Margaret's, Westminster and the couple had five children together before their divorce in 1992.

His heir is Henry Francis Cecil and has four daughters – Carolyn, Elizabeth, Sophia and Louise.

Lord Barnard served as a flying officer the with Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve [RAFVR] during the Second World War, between 1942 and 1946.

From 1948-66 he was affiliated with the Northumberland Hussars acting as Lieutenant Colonel, commanding from 1964-66.

In 1960 he was awarded a Territorial Decoration for long service.

Lord Barnard was Lord Lieutenant of the County of Durham and Custos Rotulorum from 1970-88. From 1979-89 he was Hon Col. of the 7th (Durham) Battalion the Light Infantry.

Other titles he has held include county councillor for County Durham between 1952-61, Justice of the Peace for County Durham in 1961 and joint master of the Zetland Hunt between 1963 and 1965.

Lord Barnard was part of the congregation at St Mary’s Church in Staindrop and was also a member of the Rose of Raby Masonic Lodge in the village.

He was well known for supporting local organisations, including Staindrop Scouts, Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue team and the Scarth Hall in Staindrop.

He was also a patron of Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services [UTASS] – a cause close to the hearts of many of his tenant farmers.

UTASS project manager Diane Spark said: “Lord Barnard was one of the first patrons of UTASS and we are deeply saddened the learn of his passing.

“His continuing efforts to maintain family life in the upper dale will be particularly remembered and welcomed by all. His support for local agricultural shows was enormously appreciated by all concerned. He will be sorely missed and we extend our most sincere sympathies to his family.”

Lord Barnard’s father gave the Scarth Hall in Staindrop to the village and he continued to support the cause.

Chairman Morris Race said: “He was a big supporter of what we did. Every year he gave us a donation and he was totally behind us with the refurbishment. He was forever giving us compliments that we were bringing it into the 21st century. It’s a shame he won’t see it completed.

“He was involved in a lot of activities in the village and he was a bit of a figure head. He will be a big miss.”

A statement released by his family on Sunday said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Harry John Neville Vane, the 11th Baron Barnard, who died peacefully surrounded by his family, at his home Raby Castle, Staindrop on Sunday 3rd April 2016, aged 92 years.

“The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time.”