On D-day, June 6, 1944, Private Earl Jewers came ashore on Juno Beach. Jewers, a member of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders was a signalman (wireless operator) who, along with his fellow signalmen, had the critical responsibility for maintaining communications amongst the allied forces involved in the Normandy invasion as they made their way up the beaches and subsequently across France, Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany, arriving at their ultimate destination 11 months later in May, 1945. For his work during these operations, Earl was awarded an impressive collection of medals and other accolades, such as a personal letter from General “Monty” Montgomery. Once the war was over, Earl retired from the forces as a Corporal and, in civilian life, worked in a variety of locations around North America and the Caribbean, before eventually settling in Lochaber after retirement.
Earl, a soft-spoken gentleman was, until the last few years, hesitant to talk about his military experiences. However, when he did, he could relate some hair-raising exploits that he and his comrades participated in while fighting to win us our cherished freedom. Earl took the opportunity to return to Juno Beach to participate in the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-day, an experience that he truly enjoyed. A few months later on February 8, 2015, Earl’s war efforts on our behalf were recognized by what was probably the highest honour of the many he has received. On that day he was presented with the medal that goes along with his being made a Knight of France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour, that country’s highest order.
Ever the modest gentleman, Earl was quick to think of those who had served along with him, and whom he felt were equally deserving of this honour but who, for various reasons, never got that opportunity. CONGRATULATIONS, Earl! This is a richly deserved “feather in your cap”!