A grandson pays tribute

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times
F45 Vasse owner and Navy veteran Jason Ey with Legacy camp attendees Jemma Grant from New Zealand and Kelsey Ross from Darwin.
Camera IconF45 Vasse owner and Navy veteran Jason Ey with Legacy camp attendees Jemma Grant from New Zealand and Kelsey Ross from Darwin. Credit: Sophie Elliott.

A late arrival to F45 Vasse could cost you a spot in the exclusive training class, but for owner and navy veteran Jason Ey, the term late arrival has a deeper meaning.

In March, Mr Ey will take part in The Late Arrivals Club commemorative run, in a tribute to his grandfather.

In 1942, Reginald “Mick” Ey was one of three Australian aircrew who narrowly escaped death when their Mk. IV Bristol Blenheim came down in enemy territory.

Reginald, along with Pommy Mills and Johnny Hunt, were stranded in the Libyan desert with little food and water.

They managed to recover the plane’s compass and walked 225km until they were rescued by a British Long Range Desert patrol — 11 days later.

For this, the trio were inducted into the Late Arrivals Club — an exclusive group of Allied aircrew who crashed behind enemy lines during the Western Desert campaign and took more than 48 hours to walk to safety.

Jason Ey competing in the Busselton Ironman.Picture supplied.
Camera IconJason Ey competing in the Busselton Ironman.Picture supplied. Credit: Picture supplied.

Mr Ey will be joined by veteran mates Josh Thornhill, Heath Whitfield and Steven Dean, in their own endurance challenge, as they run for 11 days, collectively travelling 1100km, across the Nullarbor.

Besides honouring The Late Arrivals Club, the team will be fundraising for an organisation close to Mr Ey’s heart, Legacy WA.

Legacy WA supports the families of deceased and incapacitated veterans and Mr Ey is a mentor for the organisation.

Recently, F45 Vasse held a fun session for 75 teenagers from throughout Australia and New Zealand, who were visiting Busselton as part of the annual Legacy summer camp.

It is hoped $50,000 can be raised for the charity through the commemorative run.

Jason Ey served as a Navy Clearance Diver for ten years.Picture supplied.
Camera IconJason Ey served as a Navy Clearance Diver for ten years.Picture supplied. Credit: Picture supplied.

Mr Ey said he did not expect his tribute to garner this much attention, and hoped it would evolve into something greater than a one-off event.

Coming from a proud tradition of military service including both his grandfathers, his father and his uncle, Mr Ey wants to keep the stories of veterans, their service and their experiences alive.

“As each generation passes, they take their stories with them and I think this is a terrible loss, not only of the unrecorded history but also of the lessons in life, perseverance and the endurance of the human spirit,” he said.

“I know some of these stories and I want to share that history to ensure it is not forgotten.

“It’s so important that we support Legacy, so they are there to support the young families who are left by themselves.”

If you want to donate, visit latearrivals.com.au.

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