Skip to content

Richmond Second World War veteran, 99, passes away

A Second World War veteran from Richmond has passed away, a day after his 99th birthday and just a few days before Remembrance Day.

A Second World War veteran from Richmond has passed away, a day after his 99th birthday and just a few days before Remembrance Day.

George Chow was front and centre in Normandy, France in June of 2019 for the 75th anniversary of the famous D-Day landings.

In 2014, Chow he 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.

Such was his reverence in Canadian military terms, National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan posted on Twitter in Chow's honour.

"We have lost a trailblazer who broke barriers and showed young children what service, duty and love for one's country are," said Sajjan.

"You may be gone, my friend, but you will never be forgotten."

Chow, born in Victoria, in 1921, was a gunner in the 2nd Army Group Royal Artillery (AGRA).

They were lucky when they came off the landing craft tank on the beaches of Normandy as the water was only nine inches deep.

After landing on D-Day they continued to move inland to Caen and other regions of France before heading into Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Chow later volunteered to prepare for the “Pacific theatre” after the victory in Europe, but his new assignment ended soon after successive atomic bombs were dropped on Japan.

After the war, Chow joined the 43rdHeavy Anti-Aircraft of the Royal Canadian Artillery as a gunnery instructor and reached the rank of Master Warrant Officer, holding the position of Battery Sergeant Major upon retirement.

He was awarded numerous war medals and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD). In 2012, Chow was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Philippe Sutter, Consul General of France in Vancouver, considered Chow a “true friend” and contacted the Richmond News on Remembrance Day to pay tribute.

“As many people in British Columbia and elsewhere, I was very saddened to hear about World War II Veteran George Chow’s passing,” wrote Sutter.

“Mr Chow was a true hero, a beacon of our common fight for peace, security and democracy.

“During World War II, his contribution to the liberation of my country, France, and Europe in 1944 was tremendous. France recognized his sacrifices by bestowing upon him the Légion d’Honneur, our highest distinction.”

“Since 2017, we were grateful to count on his presence at several events strengthening this very special bond between France and Canada and allowing to preserve the memory of all of those who fought to make possible a world free of tyranny and oppression. Lucky those who witnessed his outstanding commitment, always with kindness and key messages, to our common work of remembrance and the necessary transmission to the youth.”


A true Friendship

It was always an honor to have him with us at our National Day, on July 14, with some of his comrades, to perpetuate our deepest conviction in freedom, equality and brotherhood: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.

“George Chow will always be in our minds and hearts as we commemorate Remembrance Day.

“For everything he did for us, we say merci. For everything we owe to him, we will never forget Mr. George Chow.”