Bryan´s Story - Jalhay Belgium - 26th August 2007
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
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
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
Hotton War Cemetery, Belgium - 27th August 2007
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."