Leigh Hunter, guide at the Juno Beach Centre, gave us the testimony of her family. She delivered it for the first time at the commemorative ceremony of the Netherlands on May 8th and at the ceremony at La Maison des Canadiens on the evening of June 6th.
Today we share it with you:
My name is Leigh, I am from Fredericton, New Brunswick and I am one of seven Canadian guides currently working at the Juno Beach Center.
During the Second World War, my three great-uncles volunteered their service and were sent overseas. Their names were Peter, Joseph, and Vernon Campbell. Peter, the eldest, was part of the Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment. Peter was the only brother to return home after the war. His brother, Joseph, landed with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders regiment. He fought in France, Belgium, and Holland, where he was killed while securing a bridgehead to cut off German forces. In recognition of his bravery Joseph was awarded the 4th Military Class of Willemsorde.
Vernon, the youngest, landed on Juno Beach in the first wave on June 6th, 1944, at Saint Aubin sur Mer with the North Shore New Brunswick regiment. At 20 years old he died in the Falaise pocket and is buried in Cintheaux/ Bretteville-sur-Laize. I feel very fortunate and proud to stand here on Juno Beach today and be able to share their stories where Vernon landed.
Though two did not return home, my great-uncles’ stories live on through monuments, like the memorial stone for Corporal Joseph Campbell in Bathmen, Holland, museums like Juno Beach Centre, which focus on the transmission of memory to future generations, and associations like Canada House, who do the important work of organizing events such as tonight’s ceremony, so we may never forget what happened here. Thank you for joining us this evening for this important act of remembrance.
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.