On June 13, 2015, the French National Order of the Legion of Honour was awarded to Trooper Keith S. Moore and Sergeant Donald M. Cameron the 28th Canadian Armoured Regiment (British Columbia Regiment) Canadian Armoured Corps. honouring their military service during the liberation of France, June 6 to Aug. 10, 1944.
Trooper Moore is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 242 in the community of Barriere where he resides. Moore celebrated his 94th birthday on April 28 of this year.
The medals were presented by Major Douglas Evans, CD, Commanding Officer, The British Columbia Regiment (DCO) during the BC Regiment (DCO) Association’s 67th Annual Veteran’s Lunch in Kamloops.
Unfortunately, Seargent Donald M. Cameron passed away on Dec. 24, 2014, therefore his medal was presented to his son Douglas Cameron on behalf of his father.
During the ceremony Consul General Jean-Christophe Fleury’s messagee was read by Honourable Colonel Edwin (Ted) Hawthorne. The message included the following statements, “The Legion d’honneur is the highest decoration that France can bestow, and as such, is the equivalent to the Order of Canada.”
He went on to say, “I think freedom is more important than life. Sadly, the destiny of all of us is to leave this world, but there is no rule in this universe that says a human being should be deprived of his or her freedom. Many people in this world made the ultimate sacrifice to allow their friends and relatives to remain unchained.
“The D-Day landing was the very first step that enabled liberty, justice and human dignity to break through.
“Canadian soldiers were on the front line, and it is with extraordinary bravery and sacrifice that they landed on Normandy beaches that brought peace to this continent.
“As young men, Donald and Keith left their families and homes to cross the Atlantic and participate in some of the fiercest battles in modern history; on a foreign soil, far away from their country, to help the people of Europe to free themselves from terror and tyranny.
“Their accomplishments during the Second World War are a vibrant reminder of the profound and historic friendship that bound France and Canada. Our two countries owe each other their very existence as free nations and this creates a special relationship.
“The French people will never forget the acts of bravery and accomplishments Canadian soldiers achieved during the Normandy Landing, the Battle of Normandy and the complete liberation of France to help restore our freedom.
“So thank you so much Sergeant Donald Cameron and Trooper Keith Moore for fighting at our side for freedom and democracy; thank you for fighting against prejudice and ignorance, thank you for making my family a happy family and thank you for making my land a free country.
“Your military service giving us freedom will never be forgotten.”
Trooper Keith S. Moore was born in 1921 and grew up in Enderby, B.C. He initially joined and went overseas with the 16/22 Saskatchewan Horse, arriving in Liverpool on June 23, 1943. The disbanding of the 16/22 Saskatchewan Horse transferred Moore to the 28th Canadian Armoured Regiment (British Columbia Regiment) Canadian Armoured Corps on Sept. 15, 1943 at Camp Crowborough, England. He landed at Gold Beach, Mulberry B, (Port Winston) Arromanche, Normandy, on July 27, 1944. He served as a gunner/wireless operator in a M4A2 Sherman tank during the Battle of Normandy. Shortly after the closing of the Falaise Gap, the loss of his second Sherman tank transferred him to assist Regimental Quartermaster, until he was reassigned to a tank troop in Belgium during the latter part of the North West Europe Campaign, 1944-1945. Moore returned to Canada with the Regiment, arriving in Vancouver on Feb. 2, 1946.
The community of Barriere is indeed proud of Mr. Keith Moore and heartily congratulate him on receiving this award.
The French National Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur) is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte on May 19, 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction; Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). The orders motto is “Honneur at Patrie” (“Honour and Fatherland”) and its seat is the Palais de la Legion d’Honneur on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris.