The man who had his Mail delivered to Libya

William Peters loved his Northern Daily Mail so much he had it delivered - to the Libyan desert.

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:32 am
William Peters on his wedding day.

The late Hartlepool man is pictured reading his favourite paper during his time in the Second World War with the Royal Engineers.

But one question remains for his son-in-law John Spencelayh.

Who is the mystery man pictured on the left of this 73-year-old image?

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Mr Spencelayh, 75, also from Hartlepool, shared the story of William and would love help from Mail readers to fill in the blanks.

He told how William Garfield Peters was born in 1919 to Joseph and Elizabeth Peters. They lived in the Millbank Crescent area of Hartlepool.

On reaching adulthood, William went to work as a joiner on the docks doing repair work. He had also mentioned to John that he had done some work on the Grand Hotel.

“He also played rugby as a forward for Hartlepool Rovers,” said John. “He was a big-ish lad.”

Some time before joining the Royal Engineers, he was involved with the South Gare battery and was mobilised from there.

His interests went even further. “He was quite keen on the Boys Brigade and that sort of thing,” said John.

William married his sweetheart Mary in 1941 and is pictured at his big day, proudly standing in his uniform. John said: “I think it was at St Hilda’s Church.”

Another photo shows the scene in the desert and John said: “His mother used to send him the Northern Daily Mail out.”

Because William was serving in the Second World War, he might not get his favourite paper straight away.

But as soon as he got to a camp for rest and recuperation, he would find it faithfully waiting for him.

Exact details of when and where the photograph was taken are few, but we do know William is on the right of the image.

John thinks the man on the left may also be from Hartlepool, perhaps from the undoubted interest he is taking in the paper.

He added: “William came through the war unscathed except for when he was getting off a ship in Italy.

“A big explosion went off close to the ship he was on and it was near enough to do damage to his ear.”

But William always loved the time in the regimented set-up of the Army and became a reservist after returning home.

He and Mary had two daughters who were Lynne, and Janice, who John married.

Outside of the Army, William was a keen pianist who would play in pubs on the Headland and possibly clubs.

Later in his life, he worked as a joiner with British Titan at Billingham and became clerk of works.

He was married for 65 years and died in 2008, just two years after his beloved wife passed away.

Who can help with more details about that photo in the desert?