On 6thJune 2015 I published a blog about the exhibition The Last of the Tide at the Queen’s Gallery. In it I mentioned my partner’s father who had served on the landing craft taking Canadian forces to Juno Nan Beach in June 1944. Last year he was awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government and even though somewhat frail he was able to attend the ceremony at Glasgow City Chambers. In recent months he became much frailer and it is with profound sadness that I have to tell you that he passed away in the early hours of 28th March 2017. The day after his 95th birthday.
In late 2010 he gave the Ensign from the landing craft and his Operational Orders to the Imperial War Museum in London (http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30106688) together with an account of his naval service which you can access through the link.
He was a really good, kind and humble man and was very proud of his country. I am so honoured to have known him. It is a great thing that his war service though is remembered through his generous donation to the museum and I thought it may be of some interest hence my sharing of it.
So sorry for your loss. What a generous man sharing both the ensign and his account of D-day with the Imperial War Museum. First hand accounts always show what it really feels like to take part, rather than the clinical tactical accounts found in history books. Thank you for sharing.
That’s so very kind of you. It’s been a tough three years seeing him decline but he fought all the way. I agree about personal accounts being saved and thought it the time to inspire others to pass on their memories and knowledge.
Thanks for sharing this, and so glad to read that James Kirkwood was able to receive his Légion d’honneur.
One wonders why they always seem to wait so long to make these awards ..?
Condolences to you and your partner; I hope you both find happy memories to help you through your grief.
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Thank you so much, Ruth. We were so grateful that he was still mobile enough to make the ceremony. His wife has been a tower of strength through the last three years. We have many happy memories. All best.