Britain’s oldest Poppy Appeal collector

103-year-old World War Two veteran has laid claim to be Britain's oldest Poppy Appeal collector.

Walter 'Wally' Randall has been hailed as the country's oldest fundraiser for the Royal British Legion.

Walter appeared on This Morning during the 2018 Poppy Appeal

Wally was born on 8 September 1915, has been selling poppies for the Royal British Legion in Leighton Buzzard since the early 1950s.

He served in the service corps during World War Two before he later held the positions of both branch chairman and club chairman for the Leighton Buzzard Royal British Legion.

Wally is the proud recipient of a lifetime certificate for services to the local branch and has showed no signs of hanging up his collection tin yet.

He said: "I'm going to keep on selling poppies while I've still got the energy to do it. I'm lucky because I get to sit inside the entrance of Wilkos in the warm.

He added: "My favourite thing about selling poppies is people's generosity - when someone puts money in but says 'I've already got a poppy'. It's very gratifying."

Wally’s war memories

Speaking of his war record Wally said: "In 1942 I was kitted out to go to the Far East but then Singapore fell to the Japanese. I was then sent to North Africa and the Nazis drove us back into Egypt.

"I befriended an old World War One veteran while we were in Cairo and on our two days off we visited Alexandria and climbed the pyramids.

"I was a motor mechanic and was sent to the front line when we started pushing enemy troops back at El Alamein.

"I was with a platoon of ten lorries that took the Fourth Indian Division up to the front line - mine was a breakdown lorry."

Wally was serving in Italy when the war ended in 1945, and returned home to his wife Margaret, whom he had married in 1940.

"We are all so proud of him”

Sadly Margaret passed away six years ago after battling dementia, but luckily for Wally his son Nicholas, 69, and daughter-in-law Linda, 66, live just minutes away.

Nicholas said his dad is still a keen gardener, much loved by his family and is a bit of a local celebrity.

He continues to have an active role in community life, delivering local magazines and being involved with the masons and he served as a councilor.

Nicholas, said: "We are all so proud of him.”

Poppy Appeal

The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign held every year in November, the period of Remembrance. This year, join us as we mark the end of the WW1 centenary by saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world.

Poppy Appeal