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There is more than meets the eye with local war hero

An heroic centenarian was recently recognised for his exploits during World War Two in a special ceremony at Bootle Town Hall.  

Cyril Askew, 100, late of the King’s Regiment, now the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, holds the very rare distinction of having serving in two theatres of war during the same conflict.

He was hosted by The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr. Dave Robinson in the Council Chambers on December 5 as he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur for serving at Normandy in World War Two.

Cyril, who hails from Litherland, was typically modest in his account of his exploits:

“I returned home in 1944 having served 7 years as a regular soldier in the 1st Battalion of The King’s Regiment in India.

“I was then attached to the 2nd Battalion of The Lincolnshire Regiment. I was in France from 6 June to 22 July 1944, where I took part in the successful capture of the chateau at Lion-sur-Mer and liberating Caen.

“I was then involved in Operation Goodwood until 20 July, where the Battalion suffered 250 casualties.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr. Dave Robinson said:

“It is very humbling to spend time in the company of Cyril and other members of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. It was a great privilege to present him with his medal for his selfless role in Normandy.

“While it has rightly been an honour to recognise Cyril for his role in France, it is only one part of the story. He was also a Chindit as part of the 1st Battalion of the King’s Regiment in India. To have done both is a very rare feat in indeed, in what was a remarkable military service.

“We really are proud to say that a man as rare and brave as Cyril is one of our own.”

Cyril is the latest Sefton recipient of the Legion D’Honneur. Former flying ace Len McNamara was honoured with the same accolade at Southport Town Hall earlier this month.

Below: Cyril receives his medal from Cllr. Dave Robinson, Mayor of Sefton