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Rheindahlen Branch

Bryan´s Story - Jalhay Belgium - 26th August 2007

Bryan's Story

 

Jalhay, Belgium - 26th August 2007

 

"My dear Phyllis, seems to me it is just a year ago that I said good-bye eh dear. Well I sure hope it won't be another year before we can reverse that. With any luck at all I should finish my tour of ops in the spring then back home for a month's leave I hope"! wrote Flying Officer Navigator Harold F. Le Noury to his wife Phyllis in Hamilton (Canada); but he was never to return……..The Halifax with its crew of 7 (6 Canadians and one Scot), members of the 77 Squadron (RAF), was downed in the Ardennes on 2nd November 1944 returning from a mission over Düsseldorf.

The wrecked plane fell into a field belonging to landowner Albert Adans who in 1951 erected a monument in honour of the victims.  Every year since then the Adans family have held a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony at Jalhay.

33 year old C.N.C. Machinist Bryan Naylor, Great Nephew of Harold Le Noury flew over from Hamilton (Canada) especially to take part in this year's memorial service and was overwhelmed and honoured to see so many people attending.  "It means a lot to me and my family" said Bryan - who has 2 brothers, a niece, mother & stepfather, father & stepmother,  grandfather and brother (Royal Canadian Army) 83rd Battery 4th Armoured Division, Late great uncle Norman Tilston ( R.C.A.F, D.F.C Recipient)  second husband of the Late Phyllis Tilston (Le Noury) who she married many years after the war.

Bryan attended the moving Church Service held in French where he heard the British, Canadian, American, Australian and Belgian National Anthems and witnessed the colourful parade of standards representing the military as well as local organisations.  This was followed by the wreath laying ceremony a short distance away at the site of the crashed plane, by local and foreign dignitaries, representatives of the participating Nations, the Canadian Legion, Geilenkirchen and the Royal British Legion, Rheindahlen.

After this, a time of relaxation and 'le bonheur' was enjoyed by all at an exquisite luncheon in true Belgian style where, as the warm afternoon went on language barriers gradually disappeared and at the end of the day Bryan had witnessed a truly remarkable homage to his Great Uncle Harold………..

 

Hotton War Cemetery, Belgium - 27th August 2007

 

Tyne Cot Military Cemetery

 

and in Bryan's own words………………

 

"On this day, I travelled to Hotton Cemetery with Leon Boulet and Jeanine Adans.

 

I have pictures of Hotton at home but being there and having pictures are two different things! It's a beautiful sunny day, a quiet day with birds chirping in the background. After signing the registry, I make my way to where all the brothers rest. A sense of honour and sorrow fills within me. These men along with my Uncle Harold, most 20 to 22 yrs of age paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we have today!

 

The final resting place for the veterans in my life, those I have met on the street and for those I may never have the honour to meet will always remain in my heart and the hearts of so many others. Not only have I come to Belgium to honour my great uncle Harold but I also have come to pay respect towards Leon Boulet, the Adans family and all who make the commemoration ceremony possible every year."

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