Arthur Saunders

A former editor of the Basingstoke Gazette has died — the day after his 101st birthday.

Arthur Saunders edited the newspaper, which was then called the Hants and Berks Gazette, from 1947 until 1959, when he became managing director — a post he held until he retired in 1969.

Saunders was the third editor of The Gazette since the newspaper started in 1878. He joined in 1928, when it was owned by the Bird family.

Saunders — who had been battling prostate cancer for the past 12 years — was born in Fulham and his family moved to Basingstoke in 1910, when it was a market town with farmers driving their cattle and sheep along the roads.

He played a huge part in pulling the newspaper together during the war years, as he was not called up on medical grounds.

At his 100th birthday party last year, he said: "We had a four- or six-page paper and there was only old Mr Bird, myself and one other, who used to do a bit of reporting in the latter part of the war."

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