Five Terrace Second World War veterans are being given the highest honour conferred by the government of France for their roles in D-Day: in back from left is Sandy Sandhals and Rowly Purmal. Seated in front from left are Bill McRae

French government honours Terrace, B.C. D-Day veterans

Laying of wreath to take place tomorrow, June 6, at 4 p.m. at cenotaph in front of city hall

This summer marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1944 and the Battle of Normandy, and the government of France is paying special tribute to Canadian veterans who took part in those battles by bestowing them with “The National Order of the Legion of Honour,” the highest honour it can confer.

Soldiers to be honoured include those involved in the battles and military operations surrounding the landing and the campaign to liberate France between June 6 and August 31, 1944.

Five Terrace veterans’ names have been forwarded to the French embassy in Ottawa for approval; Frederick Annett, Cecil (Bob) Goodvin, Bill McRae, Rowly Purmal and Widar (Sandy) Sandhals.

Annett was posted in the United Kingdom and in Europe with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He landed on the coast of France in August 1944. He received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, 1939-1945 Star, France-Germany Star, Defence Medal and War Service Badge.

Goodvin was a member of the 5002C Mobile Signals, attached to 39 Wing of the RCAF and landed at Berniere Sur Mer on August 30, 1944. He received four medals for service in Canada, France and Germany.

McRae was a member of the Canadian Scottish Regiment “C” Company and landed in France in mid-June 1944 in the Juno Beach area. He received the France-Germany Star, War Medal 1939-45 and a Canadian Volunteer Service medal.

Purmal was posted with the Canadian Black Watch. He landed in France on D-Day and was wounded in the shoulder. He received the 1939-45 Star France-Germany, volunteer and defence and three others.

Sandhals was posted with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and landed on Juno Beach in Normandy in the last week of June 1944. He was wounded by shrapnel in the upper thigh and was involved in fighting at Caen and Tilly-la-Campagne.

He was captured at Tilly and was a prisoner of war for nine months. He received the 39/45 Star, France-Germany Star, volunteer service with clasp, George VI Great Britain.

Tomorrow, June 6, there is a laying of a wreath at the cenotaph in front of city hall by D-Day veterans noting the 70th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 Normandy landings.

It takes place at 4 p.m.

A Branch 13 Royal Canadian Legion steak night follows at the legion.

And on Sunday, June 8 there is an invitation-only D-Day dinner.





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