Desert Rat escaped PoW camp three times

Ron Hadaway, who has died, aged 92

Ron Hadaway in uniform

First published in News

The son of a Second World War veteran, who died earlier this month, has paid tribute to his father’s heroic wartime efforts.

Ron Hadaway, who lived in Skipton for 20 years, died on June 10 at the age of 92.

Mr Hadaway was one of the last three survivors of the Liverpool-based 106th RHA (Lancashire Hussars), who distinguished themselves in action during World War II in the Western Desert of North Africa, Greece and the Battle of Crete.

His son, Robert Hadaway, of Foulridge, said: “He told many tales about his time during the war, his positive attitude making him able to portray the whole period as an adventure.

“There were many stories of his time serving as one of the original Desert Rats, chasing the Germans and Italians out of North Africa, including capturing an Italian five-star general during one of his forays behind enemy lines.

“His gun crew was one of the last to be evacuated from Greece. Half of the 600-strong regiment was tragically lost during the evacuation and the survivors thought they’d had a lucky escape until they arrived right in the middle of the Battle of Crete.

“When Crete surrendered, he was taken as prisoner of war and he remained a PoW for the next four years, despite escaping three times.”

After the war, Mr Hadaway trained to become a headmaster, teaching at schools in Norfolk and Liverpool. He was respected as being strict but fair.

He retired to Skipton with his wife, Jean, in 1989 and thoroughly enjoyed the town and the surrounding area.

For a number of years he was a volunteer for Craven Nursing Home, in Skipton, and Skipton-based charity Craven Mind.

At the age of 90, he moved to Thornton Hill Residential Care Home, in Thornton-in-Craven. He enjoyed the final few years of his life there and appreciated the care he received and the new friends he made.

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