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Hew Butler


The men and women of “the greatest generation” continue to depart.

The latest is Hew Butler, who was with the Seventh Battalion when he was wounded in the Battle of the Mareth Line, Tunisia, in 1943, and taken prisoner. “He was held in various camps in Italy before being transferred to Stalag VIIA at Moosburg, Bavaria.

"Just before Christmas 1943 he and a brother officer, Captain Bill Spears of the Royal Corps of Signals, escaped and headed for Switzerland”. Captured and interrogated by the Gestapo, he survived and continued to serve in the army, rising to the rank of Major-General before retiring.

Hew Butler then focused his energies behind the Beit Trust, a charity which invests in hospitals, orphanages and schools in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The trust, which celebrated 100 years in 2006, built many of the great bridges of Central Africa and over 400 smaller ones. It now makes grants in health, education, and the environment.

Butler also campaigned to save the black rhinoceros in Zimbabwe.