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Mysterious military author Andy McNab has helped teach school students the value of education.

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The former SAS sergeant turned writer visited St Edward’s Church of England School & Sixth Form College in London Road, Romford, ahead of National Storytelling Week, which starts on Monday.

The best-selling author of Bravo Two Zero, who famously hides his face, spoke of being a disillusioned student, recruited to the army at 16 after being sent to a juvenile detention centre.

And after being given children’s book Janet and John by his captain to improve his reading, he never looked back.

He said: “I have never forgotten what my captain told me, ‘reading gives you knowledge and gives you choices in life.’”

Year 12 student Jack Barnes, said: “I read some of his Boy Soldier series when I was younger so to meet the man behind them was incredible. He was very easy to relate to and cool!”

The inspiring story caused an upsurge in books borrowed from the school library, and deputy head of English, Kellyann Brown, said: “He showed the students that through reading you can be successful whatever your background.”

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