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Former corporal Stanley Williams had copies of the Guardian shipped to North Africa during the height of the Second World War
Buy this photo Stanley Williams with a copy of the latest Guardian and one which covered a story on him in the 1990s
Having read tens of thousands of copies over more than seven decades Stanley Williams is surely the Waltham Forest Guardian's most loyal reader.
For Mr Williams, now 92, has hardly missed a copy of the paper, in its various guises, since 1937, when he was just 15-years-old.
Even Hitler could not stop Mr Williams, who got his mum to send his weekly news fix out to El Alamein in Egypt when he was serving under General Montgomery during the Second World War.
And although he now lives across the border in Dames Road, Forest Gate, the avid Leyton Orient supporter is as interested as ever in the goings-on in Waltham Forest.
The father-of-one said: "My mum used to roll up a big bundle of five or six copies and send them out to me every six weeks. Sometimes I wouldn't get them as the boats that were being used to ship aid and resources had sunk."
Mr Williams was called up for duty 'by mistake' in 1940 despite him and his workmen at Stratford Railway works depot being listed as exempt.
"I will never forget him. The clerk made a mistake with the paperwork and I appealed against it but that was it, once your name was entered, you served king and country," said Mr Williams.
Although, he never served as a soldier on the front-line, he was tasked with removing explosive devices and repairing military vehicles.
He said: "Eleven of us would go into the minefields in the desert and dig out damaged vehicles and bring them back to our workshop to repair. We also had the clear the minefields to protect our troops from being blown up."
Mr Williams now has the Guardian delivered every week to a nursing and residential unit in Dames Road where he now lives.
"I've always read the paper from the back page forward," he said. "It's my bible and I can honestly say I would be lost without it. It keeps me in touch with local news and I even read every detail of the births, deaths and marriages," added Mr Williams.
After leaving the British Army in 1948, he worked in central London for the Ministry of Information and then later on at a clothing factory in Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow.
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