Veteran Harold Thorp was presented with a coin from the Royal Canadian Legion commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day at his Hampton House residence on Aug. 13, 2020. (Submitted/ Chilliwack Progress)

97-year-old Chilliwack veteran honoured for 75-year membership with Royal Canadian Legion

Harold Thorp was presented with a commemorative coin at his Hampton House home

A 97-year-old Chilliwack veteran was presented with a special coin from the Royal Canadian Legion last week in honour of his 75-year membership.

Harold Thorp, who served in India and Burma during the Second World War, was handed a limited edition Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) coin commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (May 8, 1945).

The presentation happened on Aug. 13 at Hampton House, the retirement residence in which he lives.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legion was unable to present Thorp with the coin and thank him in person for his 75-year membership, so staff at Hampton House honoured him on their behalf.

Thorp joined the Legion in 1945 while he was still stationed in India. He didn’t want to miss out on paying the annual $5 fee, so he sent his membership dues in the form of rupees via air mail.

He still has the letter he received in February of 1945 when he signed up, which was read during the coin presentation.

The commemorative coin is a fundraising item for the RCAF. Funds raised go to RCAF association members and to support the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program.

Thorp joined the RCAF in 1943. He trained in Canada and England from 1943 to 1944. In 1944, he spent his service time with #436 Squadron which was a transport squadron in India and Burma where he transported aircraft parts, POWs and the injured.

The closest Thorp said that they got to the front lines was when they were stationed in India where they were 10 miles from the conflict zone.

Although the war had ended, Thorp’s squadron was held back in Burma to transport the POWs and the injured. He returned home to Canada in July of 1946.

While overseas, Thorp wrote letters to his sweetheart for the three and a half years he was gone. She was 15 when he left and they got married on Sept. 24, 1947. He still has all of those letters as well.

RELATED: Chilliwack commemorates 76th anniversary of D-Day with small but significant ceremony


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Royal Canadian Legion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Keith Baxter (left), Hampton House general manager, presents veteran and resident Harold Thorp with a commemorative coin from the Royal Canadian Legion on Aug. 13, 2020. (Submitted/ Chilliwack Progress)

This photo of Harold Thorp was taken while serving in India and Burma during the Second World War. (Submitted/ Chilliwack Progress)

This photo of a young Harold Thorp aboard the ship ‘Aquitania’ has “Homebound from England to Canada” written on the back. (Submitted/ Chilliwack Progress)

Just Posted

Open letter urges BC Liberal party to remove Laurie Throness as Chilliwack-Kent candidate

The letter says Throness holds homophobic views and should have no place in government

All-candidates meeting in Chilliwack goes virtual

The first all-candidates meeting for Chilliwack area candidates is slated for the evening of Oct. 13

OPINION: The theatre of court proceedings on stage at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

BC Supreme Court jury trial held on main stage this week to maintain pandemic distancing protocols

BC NDP confirm school board chair Dan Coulter as candidate for Chilliwack

Confirmed he will resign from school board if elected despite rumours to the contrary

Chilliwack man, 31, in critical condition after altercation at Langley university

RCMP received a report of an ‘agitated man’ on TWU campus

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Most Read