A WWII veteran who had copies of The Guardian sent to him on the front line is to be buried in a coffin decorated with the paper.

Stanley Williams grow up in Acacia Road, Walthamstow and began taking the East London Guardian in the late 1930s.

By 1942 he was serving in the deserts of Egypt and Libya.

His son Keith said: "When he was writing letters from the front he was still requesting copies of The Guardian.

"My mum bundled the papers up and sent them to him, but a lot of the ships got torpedoed.

"They ended up at the bottom of the Med and he never did receive any."

After leaving the army in 1947 Mr Williams worked as a copper smith until the 1960s and then as an accounts manager.

In the months before his death from bronchial pneumonia on December 19, the 96 year-old moved from his home in Queen's Road, Walthamstow to a care home in Chingford.

His son continued: "Every week, rain or shine, he would buy it.

"Later in life when he could not get out someone would pick up a copy.

"When he was in hospital I used to buy copies of the paper for him but he couldn't really read it in the end.

"79 years at once a week is not a bad record for a local paper."

At his funeral at 10am on January 8 at Parndon Woods Crematorium in Harlow Mr Williams will be laid to rest, in a coffin decorated with The Guardian.

It is thought Mr Williams bought more than 4,000 copies of the paper during his life, likely making him its longest serving reader.