"Here is the story on Comrade George Chow. He was a member of the former Branch 16 in South Vancouver. Branch turned in their Charter a number of years ago. So George was paying his dues into BC Yukon Command. Then George decided to join Branch 291 in Richmond. I talked to George who is now 97 years and a 59 year member of the Legion. Where his fifty year medal was. He said he never received one. So I took the liberty of having a little party for him to give him his fifty year medal and pin plus his 55 year Pin and bar for his medal. Presenting the medal is Comrade Bob Underhill."
- Bill Costain Membership & Service Officer Branch 291 Richmond
A Biography of Mr. George Chow (WWII Veteran)
Mr. George Chow was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1921. Two months before his 19th birthday, George went to the recruiting centre at the Bay Street Armoury in Victoria to sign up without his parents' knowledge.
Thereafter, George was sent to the Seaforth Armoury in Vancouver, British Columbia for basic training. He was later sent to Windsor, Ontario for further training and then shipped to Halifax to board a ship for England.
During the Normandy Invasion, George was a member of the 2nd Army Group Royal Artillery (AGRA). They were lucky when they came off the Landing Craft Tank (LCT) as the water was only 9" deep during their Normandy landing and they continued to move inland to Caen and other regions of France before heading into Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.
After the victory in Europe, George volunteered to prepare for the Pacific theatre but his new assignment ended soon after the atomic bomb had been dropped in Japan.
After the Second World War, George joined the 43rd Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) of the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) in the Bessborough Armoury in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a Gunnery instructor in 1950. He reached the rank of Battery Sergeant Major (BSM) and was honorably discharged in 1963.
George was awarded numerous war medals and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD). In 2012, George was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. In October 2014, George was awarded the rank of Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour by the French Government and was subsequently presented the Medal of Legion of Honour by Consul General Jean-Christophe Fleury of the Consulate General of France in Vancouver, British Columbia in April 2015.
In 2014, George attended the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy at the Juno Beach Centre. On this occasion, he also visited the grounds of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. George has participated in the Vimy Day Commemoration in Vancouver, British Columbia for many years. His continued remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Normandy is reflected by his attending the 'From Vimy to Juno Reception and Ceremony' and exhibition organized by the Juno Beach Centre and held at the Seaforth Armoury in Vancouver, British Columbia in December 2016.
If George is selected to attend the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Pilgrimage, he is comfortable sharing his Military experience and making informal presentations about his experiences to members of the delegation and the public. He is physically capable of making the trip and will obtain a doctor's approval for extended travel. George will also bring a caregiver physically capable of travelling with a doctor's approval.
Thanks to Bill Costain Membership & Service Officer Branch 291 Richmond for sharing!