Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

French laud D-Day veterans

Ambassador in city for service

  • Print

For Norman Donogh, life flashed back 68 years for a few moments Wednesday.

He was one of eight Manitoba soldiers who fought in the D-Day invasion in June 1944 and the Allied breakout from the Normandy beaches who were honoured by French and provincial officials at a special ceremony at the Manitoba Legislative Building.

"I thought it was quite impressive," Donogh, 89, said. "They made things come to life again after so many years."

Donogh, along with Louis Lemong, Paul Martin, Jack Tennant, John Stoyka, Jack Mitchell, Clarence Stocks and Alfred Monnin were each presented with medallions by Annie Anne, vice-president of Lower Normandy, thanking them for their service.

French Ambassador Phillipe Zeller and Premier Greg Selinger also participated.

A dozen other veterans of the Normandy campaign who couldn't attend will be presented with their medals separately.

Donogh said events such as this remind Canadians of what happened during the Second World War and the sacrifices of so many.

"I've noticed in the past 15 or 20 years more young people are attentive and seeking information than before," he said.

"For a long time there was complete silence, but it's being brought to the attention of people now."

Donogh, then a lieutenant with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, landed on Juno Beach on the evening of June 6, 1944.

Within three days he was wounded on a night patrol and was sent back to England for three months before rejoining his regiment at Calais, France.

He spent the rest of the war in combat to clear the Scheldt Estuary to allow for the reopening of the Antwerp port for Allied supply ships and the liberation of the Netherlands.

Following the war, Donogh worked as a reporter and editorial writer for the Winnipeg Free Press.

Selinger and Anne also signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen economic, cultural and historical ties between their two governments.

Lower Normandy is a region in northwestern France.

It includes an ongoing memorial component to commemorate the D-Day landings where the Fort Garry Horse and the 402 (City of Winnipeg) Fighter Squadron also played roles.

Selinger also endorsed Lower Normandy's bid to recognize the beaches of Normandy as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Excerpts of Premier Greg Selinger's endorsement of the Normandy beaches becoming a United Nations World Heritage Site:

"The Allied landing of June 6, 1944 on the Normandy beaches foreshadows and accelerates the liberation of Western Europe. This key moment of our common history has largely become a universally acknowledged date. It accelerated the fall -- wished by hundreds of millions of people -- of one of the worst dictatorships of the 20th century. It was the triumph of values and principles since then recognized by the United Nations. Thus, those beaches have become an undeniable symbol of liberty and the fight against barbarity.

"In memory of all the people who died there, this symbol of universal peace must live on and be transmitted to all future generations.

"That is why we, women and men of awareness, adhere without any reservation to the registration request of the great D-Day landing beaches that are Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword (as well as the Pointe du Hoc) to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 11, 2012 A5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets this week with Tim and Gary in Anaheim

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google