A canteen check-out girl came to the rescue of a Crayford war hero after spotting he hadn't showed up for his daily bangers and mash.

John Simmonds, 89, likes nothing more than a plate of sausages, mash, carrots and gravy at the Sainsbury’s Superstore restaurant in Stadium Way.

The former Second World War staff car driver likes to walk there and back every day from his home in Claremont Crescent to enjoy the very same meal.

But restaurant worker Lorraine George, 56, became very concerned when her favourite customer failed to show for three weeks.

The grandmother-of-two told News Shopper: "I started getting really worried and went over to see him.

"He had lost a lot of weight and hadn’t washed.

"He never has a beard but he looked like Santa Claus, bless him."

Ms George, of Larkswood Close, Slade Green, rang Age Concern and made sure a GP visited the former travel agent.

She also brought him two bags of coffee, bread, cheese, ham, pickles, biscuits, cake and sausage rolls - along with a few treats on the house from Sainsbury’s after her boss gave her the green light.

She said: "He thought it was Christmas, bless him - his little face lit up and it was so sweet."

Ms George now rings Mr Simmonds every day and visits him as often as she can to make sure he’s OK.

And Mr Simmonds is hugely grateful for his good Samaritan.

He said: "I get a little bit forgetful but my long-term memory is good.

"As you get older your mind gets a bit weaker and mine’s been getting weaker for years.

"I remember things from a while ago rather than recently - you get like that and it is a funny old world."

The former Thomas Cook and Midland Bank employee is just chuffed he gets to shop somewhere which was out of his reach as a young boy growing up in Streatham.

He said: "When I was growing up only the well-to-do people could go and shop in Sainsbury’s - it’s all changed now."

His guardian angel says she would do even more for him if she lived nearby. Ms George said: "Whatever he needs I will be there for him.

"I know people have got their own lives but it is such a shame these days that we don’t look after elderly people.

"If I lived there I would be round there 24/7."

The pensioner has a mischievous side too.

Ms George added: "He has a strawberry tart every now and again and he laughs so much when I say to him: ‘John, you do like your tarts’

"He’s a jolly old soul."

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