Click here to view the latest Board Report, dated 25 July 2019.
It was with great sadness that Loyal Egmont Lodge members learnt of the death of possibly their oldest member. Melville (Mel) Askew died the day before his 100th birthday, passing away peacefully just as his extended family were gathering for a celebration of his extraordinary life. Mel had many tales to tell but his experiences in the Second World War were particularly significant.
Mel saw action in World War II with the 19th Battalion of the Taranaki Company at the Battle of Crete. The battle was the first airborne invasion of WWII when German paratroopers rained down on 6,700 soldiers from New Zealand who, along with the rest of the Allied Forces, had been instructed to hold the island, but they were forced to surrender after 10 days.
Mel was wounded by a German stick bomb on the first day of the battle and spent the next four years as a prisoner of war in camps in Germany and Poland. He was freed just three weeks before the war ended.
Mel was an enthusiastic member of Manchester Unity for 83 years and was still attending the monthly Luncheon Club until just weeks before he passed away.
Photo caption: Bro Mel Askew, 6 January 1919 – 5 January 2019