Roberta Place

(705) 733-3231 - 503 Essa Rd. Barrie, Ontario

Resident Receives Highest Honour from France

On Sunday November 9th, 2014, Colonel Doyon presented Harold Duggan with the Rank of Knights of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour at the annual Veteran's Breakfast at Roberta Place in Barrie.

The French National Order of the Legion of Honour is the highest decoration of France divided into 5 degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officer (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 for recognition of exemplary military service in France. This decoration is to honour Harold for his role in liberating France during World War II.

Harold was a member of the 1st Hussars, they are a Primary Reserve Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment of the Canadian Army. As part of 31 Canadian Brigade Group, the Regiment is based in London and Sarnia and provides the Brigade with highly motivated and trained armoured crewmen. The 1st Hussars has a long and storied history that includes the D-Day landings as well as more recent peacekeeping operations and support to the Afghan mission.

Harold drove an amphibious tank onto the beach in direct line of the German artillery.  He was in the war from 1939 to 1944.  Here is a link to more information on the 1st Battalion Hussars.

The first Non-Permanent Militia unit to be mobilized at the outbreak of World War II, the Regiment moved overseas as part of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division in 1941 and continued training until D-Day. Following the Normandy Landing, the Regiment took part in bitter battles in the bridgehead, the closing of the Falaise Gap and the clearing of the cross channel guns at Calais. The Regiment fought with distinction throughout Belgium and Holland and ended the war in Germany. During this period, the 1st Hussars won 72 decorations, certificates or mentions in dispatches - more than any other unit.

The 1st Hussars were equipped with DD (Duplex Drive) tanks. The tankers of the Hussars supported the Regina Rifles at Courseulles, the Winnipeg Rifles at Graye-sur-Mer and the Canadian Scottish on the right.

'B' squadron supporting the Reginas, landed at Courseulles at 0755 hours with 14 out of the 19 tanks remaining. The DD tanks engaged the German guns from a distance of 200 yards. No tanks were lost in the spirited duel. When the Regina Rifles landed, they fought their way into Courseulles, and once beyond the town the tank squadrons reunited with their affiliated infantry battalions and worked their way inland against machine-gun nests and entrenched infantry.

For all these efforts now we remember and thank the 1st Hussars over the course of their military plight. 

Roberta Place would also like to thank the members of the Girl Guides - Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, Rangers and Adult Leaders who did a fabulous job of cooking and serving at the Annual Veteran's Breakfast . There were 68 people in attendence - Veterans who live at Roberta Place and their families, veterans who are volunteers at Roberta Place, current members of the Armed Forces who came up from Base Borden and a contingent from the Army Navy Air Force Club who brought with them a piper and marched in the colours.


Harold Duggan - Knighted by France
Harold Duggan - Knighted by France
Colour Party - Veteran's Breakfast 2014
Girl Guides - Veteran's Breakfast 2014
Girl Guides - Veteran's Breakfast 2014
Harold Duggan - Knighted by France
Girl Guides - Veteran's Breakfast 2014


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