PROUD Randwick villager, war hero and family man Alec Alder has died aged 88.

The great-grandfather, whose memoirs are being serialised in the SNJ, was also minister of the old Pentecostal church in Ruscombe for 40 years.

Mr Alder, who had a heart condition but was otherwise very healthy, passed away peacefully during an afternoon nap on Friday at his home at The Martins, Westrip.

His family said this week that he had a very strong faith and would be sadly missed.

Relatives added they would like the SNJ to continue printing Mr Alder's memoirs as they have been so popular with readers.

Born at Ocker Hill, Randwick on December 12, 1919, Mr Alder grew up in the village before working in maintenance at Strachans Mills and at a contract electrical firm.

He met his wife Ada in 1936 and married in October 1939.

When the Second World War broke out, Mr Alder was conscripted to fight in the Glosters.

During the war, Mr Alder survived many near-death experiences.

Among these were narrowly missing out on being sent to Dunkirk and surviving after a fighter plane crashed into his bedroom. Towards the end of the war, Mr Alder was posted to Burma where he broke his leg on patrol.

He was sent to a hospital in India and became a devout Christian after discussing faith with a nurse.

After the war, he worked as a church minister in the Stroud valleys.

In September the SNJ reported how Mr Alder, who owned a coal merchants and A & A Taxis in Stroud during his career, believed God had saved his life 14 times.

His friend Nancy Bellhouse, 83, who met him on a posting to Yorkshire, said: "He was sort of the big brother we never had.

"He was just a very special person and the reason I joined the forces."

Mr Alder was due to read the names of fallen soldiers on Sunday during a remembrance service at Stroud Congregational Church.

He is survived by his two children, Paul, 68, and Maureen, 59, six grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at Stroud Congregational Church at 11am on Monday, November 17. Donations will go to St Rose’s School.

Mr Alder will be buried at St John the Baptist Church, Randwick beside his wife Ada, who died in February last year.