Juno75: Above & Beyond with Neil Orford

| April 17, 2019

Juno Beach and Beyond
Juno75: Above & Beyond with Neil Orford

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, 14,000 Canadians landed on Juno Beach in Normandy as part of one of the largest military operations in history. 90,000 Canadians would eventually take part in the ensuing Battle of Normandy, with countless other Canadians in support roles at home and overseas. How do we remember their sacrifices and their service?

This question is at the core of a new commemoration project called Juno75: Above & Beyond. The project aims to engage young people in developing an appreciation for the many individuals who contributed to the success of Juno Beach and the Battle of Normandy. Through research into the life and contributions of an individual, young people will be able to create meaningful digital commemorations in honour of those who served.

To make this effort a reality, the Juno Beach Centre Association has partnered with Defining Moments Canada, a heritage organization that equips Canadian students, teachers, and communities with the educational tools they need to tell the stories that matter to them. This episode explores the project from its origins to the content that will be available to educators, students, and Canadians at large.

“For several days, as we watched preparations, we thought that this was IT, but it turned out just to be a dress rehearsal. They wouldn’t be standing up like this if it were the real thing.” – John Gorsline. A Landing Craft Assault (LCA) from HMCS Prince David engages in one of many practice runs off the south coast of England, largely around Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight (Courtesy of the Testaments of Honour Historical Archive).

Time Stamps

3:19 Teaching Storytelling

9:58 Uncovering the History

14:21 Juno75: Above & Beyond

19:53 The Final Product

24:52 21 Iconic Veterans

35:16 Neil’s Favourite Stories

42:24 Resources on the Website

48:27 Measuring Success

Guest Biography

Neil Orford is a retired History Teacher from Dufferin County, Ontario. A winner of both the Governor General’s and Ontario Premier’s Award for History Teaching, his Digital Historian Project© won the 2015 Government of Canada History Award. He has been featured on CBC’s “The National”, TVO’s “The Agenda”, and in numerous articles across Canada. He has worked extensively with the Juno Beach Centre and has led a Summer Institute for History teachers in Normandy. Neil is the owner and president of Defining Moments Canada, Ltd.


The following links offer more information on the topics discussed in this episode:

Veteran Interviews (in order of appearance)

Richard Rohmer, 430 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force

Ken Moore, 224 Squadron Royal Air Force

Tom Gilday, 1st Special Service Force

Merv Loucks, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion

Don Sutherland, “W” Commando Royal Canadian Navy


The Italian Campaign


The Normandy Campaign

Weapons & Formations

1st Canadian Parachute Battalion

RCAF Anti-Submarine Squadrons Overseas

RCAF Fighter Squadrons Overseas

Men and Women of the Royal Canadian Navy


Juno Beach & Beyond is hosted and edited by Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the centre’s Digital Projects Coordinator.

Mackenzie King’s speech to British Parliament from the British Pathé YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SlEvclY5LE&t=48s

Artillery firing sounds from the CBC News: The National YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsCSQ4uWR1Y

Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from Jonathan Thomas’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB5wZtV1MWM

Spitfire sound effect from Jason Kirby’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgZI4tAoMN0

Dramatic Interlude by Alexander Nakarada | https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com

Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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 jbca@junobeach.org.

Leave a Reply