War hero Nelson Foyle, 93, is Britain's longest-serving pub regular
War hero Nelson Foyle, 93, has estimated he has sunk around 40,000 pints at the Dog and Gun in Netheravon, Wiltshire,
His long service was honoured when locals clubbed together to buy him a Lordship of the Manor title so he can now officially be called “Lord” Nelson.
The regular was presented the award at a special surprise ceremony.
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It is a fitting tribute for Nelson whose only break from drinking his favourite bitter came when he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.
He took part in the 1944 attack on Hitler’s Tirpitz battleship and in 2013 was awarded the Arctic Star medal by the Russian Government for his service on the Arctic Convoys.
Nelson told how he sampled his first taste of alcohol when he sneaked into the beer cellar there at the age of 12 with the landlord’s sons.
In the decades since, Nelson has popped in several times a week to enjoy a few pints.
His long service was honoured when locals clubbed together to buy him a Lordship
He estimates that he has sunk around 40,000 pints, or 5,000 gallons – the same capacity as a tanker that delivers his beer.
I might get a few free pints now I’m a Lord
He started in the year of the Edward VIII abdication crisis, when Jesse Owens dominated the Berlin Olympics and the Jarrow crusaders marched on London.
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Back then a pint cost 3d but now his favourite Wadworth 6X sets him back over £3.
Father-of-two Nelson has spent his entire life in the same street next to the pub – growing up in one house and then moving to his current home just 50 yards away.
Great-granfather Nelson said: “It’s a big honour and I’m very proud of it – I might get a few free pints now I’m a Lord.
“I’ve been drinking at the Dog and Duck since I was 12 years old.
“I usually drink two and a half pints each time but sometimes I could have four, it depends on how many good-hearted people are in the pub at the time.
Nelson Foyle with his wife Marina at their wedding in 1952
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'Lord' Nelson has been a local of the pub for 80 years
“I usually go with my son and son-in-law Steve. I sometimes go with my wife but not so much nowadays because she doesn’t like drinking so much.”
When he started visiting the pub, Nelson worked on a nearby dairy farm with two brothers whose father was the pub landlord at the time.
After the war he became a JCB driver, coach driver and civilian driver for the Government.
Nelson – who is losing the sight in his left eye – is married to Marina, 82, and they will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary later this year.
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