Since 2010, thanks to the Louis Family from St-Vaast en-Auge, First Canadian Parachute Battalion paratrooper Lacroix’s helmet along with personal items, have been on display in the permanent exhibition of the Centre.
Sergeant Lacroix was killed on June 6th 1944 in Saint-Vaast-en-Auge, where he is buried the local cemetery. Every year on June 6th, the Centre gives the helmet and personal belongings back to the Louis Family so that the helmet can be laid on the paratrooper’s gravestone.
This year, Arlene, Sergeant Lacroix’s daughter came to the Juno Beach Centre to make a very special donation: the medals and personal memorabilia of Marie Smith, Sergeant Lacroix’s sister. When Nursing Sister Smith (née Lacroix) was serving in Germany in 1945, Marie Smith came to visit her brother’s grave, upon which the helmet was laid, and brought it back to Canada. She donated it to the St-Vaast-en-Auge memorial in the early 2000.
Today, the helmet and the personal items have made their way back to permanent exhibitions of the museum. Nursing Sister Marie Smith’s medals and belongings will be on display soon.
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.