| Bertie Cooksley|
New Zealand Army
| 20 March 1917 (age 98)
Masterton, New Zealand (1917-03-20) |
Second World War
North African Campaign
Battle of Crete
New Zealand National Party
In Peace & War: A Civilian Soldier's Story
North African Campaign, Battle of Crete, Italian Campaign, World War II
Haddon Donald Wikipedia
Haddon Vivian Donald (born 20 March 1917) is a former New Zealand soldier, businessman and politician of the National Party. He is the oldest living former New Zealand Member of Parliament, and the highest-ranking New Zealand army officer of World War II still alive.
Donald was born in 1917 at Masterton, the son of Vivian Everard Donald and Gertrude Blanche Donald (née Mills). He was educated at Nelson College from 1930 to 1932, and afterwards at Wairarapa College.
He joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1939. During the Second World War he was an officer in the 22nd Battalion, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The history group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has an interview with Haddon on its website where he describes the events at the Maleme airfield as part of the Battle of Crete. Donald was awarded the Military Cross in 1942, and the Distinguished Service Order in 1945. In 1947 he was made an Officer of the Legion of Merit by the United States. Donald later wrote about his experiences soldiering in Greece, Crete and Egypt in the book In Peace and War: A Civilian Soldier's Story, published in 2005.
He represented the Wairarapa electorate from 1963 in succession to Bertie Cooksley, who retired after five terms. Donald held the electorate until 1969, when he was defeated by Labour's Jack Williams.
On his return from the war, he was a manufacturer based in the Wairarapa. Donald worked for his family firm of Donald Presses Ltd for 50 years, and was chairman of the company from 1970 to 1986. He captained the New Zealand rifle team on five occasions. Donald lived in Taupo. His wife Ana Donald (née Beetham) died in May 2014, aged 90, and was buried in Masterton. He turned 100 in March 2017.