A REMARKABLE story of remembrance keeps fallen hero Frank Howse's name alive.

On each anniversary of his death, in Korea in June 1954, his sister, Emma Hall, receives a long-distance telephone call from her brother's best friend.

A cruel trick of fate saw Frank, a medic from Middlesbrough, killed in Korea when his Jeep hit a landmine and blew up.

The war was over - and the mine was British.

It had been washed into the Jeep's path by torrential rain and mud slides.

Frank's death left his sister Emma, now 74, grief-stricken, and his best friend Brian Greaves stunned.

Mr Greaves had reached Japan on his way to Korea, looking forward to seeing his friend, only to be told that Frank had been killed.

The two had received their training as nurses at York Military Hospital, and when Frank had to be admitted for treatment to varicose veins, he ended up in Brian's ward.

In 1996, several of Brian's friends - veterans of the Korean war - decided to make a return trip to Korea.

Brian asked one of them to photograph Frank's grave. It was then he decided to trace Emma.

"I remember him talking about a sister,'' said Mr Greaves, 68, who lives in the home counties. "Frank and I were at York Military Hospital and were promoted at the same time. He was in the same unit, the Royal Army Medical Corps."

Having traced Mrs Hall, Mr Greaves, 68, sent her a bouquet on the anniversary of Frank's death.

On every anniversary in the past three years he has called her, but they have never met - despite being perhaps just feet away from each other at last Sunday's march past at the Cenotaph, in London.

Mrs Hall said: "I have never met this man, but have never known such kindness. It reassures your faith in human beings. I like to do to other people as I would like them to treat me. I think it is very good of Brian to keep in touch.''

Mr Greaves said: "Frank is the person that I have thought of over the years at this time. I will think of him as long as I am alive. It's one of those things - it's something that sticks in my mind.'