Second World War veteran Allan Bacon in 1941 (left), and today (right), pictured at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, in Toronto.
From Martin Lepine – Communications Manager, The War Amps
Second World War amputee veteran reflects on D-Day 75th anniversary
On June 6, 1944, Toronto’s Allan Bacon was one of thousands of Canadians to arrive by boat on the shores of Juno Beach in Normandy, France. As this year marks the 75thanniversary of D-Day, 99-year-old Bacon is reflecting on that pivotal event.
Bacon enlisted with the Royal Regiment of Canada in 1940 and was later transferred to the Canadian Scottish Regiment. When his tour of duty took him to Normandy, his role was in the mortar platoon. “That was because I had difficulty opening one eye at a time, which was required to operate a rifle,” he recalls.
On June 17, 1944, Bacon was based in a barn, anticipating an attack that never came. He went into a nearby shed to disarm the grenades when one exploded, resulting in the loss of his right arm.
When Bacon realized he’d lost his arm, his first thought was, “This will break my mother’s heart.” Bacon recovered at a hospital in England where he learned to use his left arm through exercises like washing windows.
On returning to Canada, he became a member of The War Amps, an Association started by amputee veterans returning from the First World War to help each other adapt to their new reality. Today, Bacon continues to be active with The War Amps Toronto Branch.
Bacon’s daughter, Deborah Sliwinski, says, “In our family, we see my father as a hero. He talks about how losing his arm was the best thing that ever happened to him because it gave him the courage to try new things.”
When asked what he thinks of being called a hero, Bacon says that he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, adding that at the time, men and women enlisted with the goal of protecting the country and he wanted to do the same.
Through the years, he along with his fellow War Amps members, have made it a goal to remember and commemorate their fallen comrades, and to educate youth about the horrors of war. “In Normandy, many Canadians died or suffered wounds that they had to carry for the rest of their lives,” says Bacon. “On anniversaries like D-Day, it’s important that we never forget.”
Debut Performance with RDSO
The support of donors and sponsors ensures the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra can create and inspire the next generation of musicians. In particular, we provide professional level performance opportunities for emerging artists, such as Harbour Lehocky, to facilitate their development as musicians.’
Harbour will be making her debut performance with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra at the June 8th ‘Season Finale’ concert in recognition of being a 2018 winner of the Red Deer Festival of the Performing Arts.
Harbour started violin at the age of six, almost 9 years ago, and continues to ask her parents why they didn’t get her started with lessons earlier! She is the concertmaster for the Rosedale Valley Strings Orchestra, conducted by Naomi Delafield, and a member of the Burman University Symphony Orchestra with whom she toured Western Canada in 2018 and California earlier this year. Harbour attended the Orford Musique Academy in Quebec in the summer of 2018, funded by the Lacombe Endowment Grant and will attend several international camps and competitions as well as perform a solo piece with a youth orchestra in Austria this summer.
This busy young musician is also a provincial medals recipient in swimming, holds two provincial records in breaststroke, and is a 2016 Alberta Summer Games bronze medal recipient in triathlon.
Join the audience (tickets remain available) and help the RDSO welcome Harbour Lehocky to the stage!
Farmers (Public) Market Moves Back to Arena site… Opening Weekend!
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Red Deer Public Market opens Saturday, May 18 at Servus Arena
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