|The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders|
"Keep 'em Moving"
|Tributes, Condolences & Thanks|
re; George Sands
|My heart-felt thanks to all who sent their sincere condolences after the death of my Father, 2934077 Sgt. George Sands MM. on June 18th. 2005. There are far too many to list here. To all the unknown people who came and shook hands, thanked, or asked for a photo or autograph from my Father on our returns to France and Holland. Below are just a few of the messages and Tributes. Thank-you all.|
La disparition d’un vrai héros
Nous venons d’apprendre le décès de Georges Sand le 18 juin à l’âge de 89 ans. Les habitants de Ste Honorine la Chardonne avaient fait sa connaissance l’an dernier à l’occasion des cérémonies du 60 ème anniversaire du débarquement. Lorsque Madame Pateux, maire de Ste Honorine la Chardonne, avait décoré les 3 vétérans anglais de ce débarquement, l’ensemble de la population était présente et découvrait progressivement leur histoire.
Georges était venu avec son fils, Richard, et retrouvait 2 anciens camarades du débarquement décorés pour la même occasion. Toute la population fut vite enthousiasmée par sa gentillesse, sa simplicité, et vite admirative devant ce qu’il avait vécu, sans s’en glorifier ni s’en plaindre. Il avait rempli son devoir, simplement, jour après jour dans des conditions extrêmes. Toujours au front, en première ligne, il fut souvent blessé et frôla la mort à plusieurs reprises.
Comment ne pas se rappeler ce premier épisode, lorsque dans la péniche de débarquement à « Sword beach » le 6 juin au matin, il fut touché par un tir allemand. La barge sombra et Georges, lourdement chargé comme tous les soldats, et qui ne savait pas nager, eut la vie sauve en restant agrippé à une épave alors que l’eau montait progressivement avec la marée. Il ne fut délivré et sauvé que 6 h plus tard alors que l’eau lui atteignait le menton et concluait avec humour « qu’il ne buvait plus d’eau depuis ce jour là » !
En première ligne autour de « Pegadus bridge » au bord de l’Orne, il fut blessé le 13 juin à la joue et à la jambe à Ste-Honorine la chardonneret. Soigné quelques jours sur place, il repartit au combat et fit la campagne de France. Il termina la guerre par l’invasion de la Hollande où il sera à nouveau blessé mais pas évacué. Il se souvenait que les allemands minaient les cadavres de leurs ennemis, ce qui au début au moins, a augmenté le nombre des victimes parmi ses jeunes camarades alliés qui allaient ramasser les corps.
Georges, un vrai héros au sens complet du terme. Un homme que nous avons tous beaucoup apprécié et admiré. Un ami.
Son fils Richard, nous annonçant la triste nouvelle, nous dit combien son père avait été heureux de ce retour en Normandie libérée, et témoigne « I would like to thank you for making his last year such a memorable and happy one. He spoke often of "His friends in Normandy" and convinced him that all the sacrifices were worthwhile.”c’est à dire “je voudrais vous remercier d’avoir permis que sa dernière année soit si mémorable et heureuse. Il parlait souvent de ses amis de Normandie et cela l’avait convaincu que tous ces sacrifices avaient été utiles ».
Oh oui, combien utiles. C’est à des hommes comme toi que nous devons notre liberté. Adieu Georges. Tes amis normands si reconnaissants.
Philippe et Fabienne Senaux
A true hero passed away.... Translation by Philippe Senaux
We have just learned the death of George Sand on June 18 at the age of 89 years. The inhabitants of Ste Honorine la Chardonne in normandy (France) made his knowledge last year for the ceremonies of the 60 th anniversary of the Normandy landing.
When Mrs Pateux, mayor of Ste Honorine la Chardonne, decorated the 3 English veterans for the anniversary, the whole population was present and discovered gradually their stories.
George came with his son, Richard, and had the pleasure to meet 2 former comrades of the Nosrmandy landing , and decorated for the same occasion. All the population was quickly filled with enthusiasm by Georges’s kindness, his simplicity, and quickly admire greatly what he had lived and done in june 1944, without glorifing himself or making a single complain . He just filled his duty, simply, day after day under extreme conditions.
Always in battles, in first line, he was wounded many times and came very close to death on several occasions. How can we never forget his first episode, when in the landing barge in “Sword beach” on June 6th in the morning, he was touched by a German shooting. The barge sank and George, heavily charged like all the soldiers, and who did not know how to swim, had the safe life by remaining clutched with a wreck while water went up gradually with the tide. He was delivered and saved only 6 H later whereas water reached the chin to him and Georges to concluded with humour “ that he had not drunk any more water for this day”!
In first line around “Pegadus bridge” at the edge of the Orne river, he was wounded on June 13th on the cheek and the leg at Ste Honorine la chardonneret . Looked after a few days on the spot, he set out again with the combat and made the liberation of France. He finished the war by the invasion of Holland where he was again wounded but without being evacuated. Ihe told us remembering that the German soldiers mined the corpses of their enemies, which at the beginning at least, increased the number of the victims among his young allied comrades who were going to collect the bodies.
George, a true hero with the complete meaning of this word. A man whom we all much appreciated and admired.
Richard, his son, announcing the sad news to us, wrote us how much his father had been so happy to come back in the liberated Normandy, and testified “I would like to thank you for making his last year such a memorable and happy one. He spoke often of “His friends in Normandy” and it convinced him that all the sacrifices were worthwhile.
Oh yes, how much worthwile and useful. It is thanks of men as you, Georges, that we owe our freedom.
Your so grateful Norman friends who will never forget you.
Philippe and Fabienne
|Alex Niven (uk)||Dear Richard, sorry to hear about your Dad, I am sure he had a good life and lived long, but this one catches us all. sincerely Alex|
|Ted & Irene Bolster (Australia)||Hello Richard, very sorry to hear of the death of your Father, we hope he did not suffer to much at the end. I t would have been nice to have known you more, pity we are so far apart. He was a grand old man you should be very proud of. We went through some hard times to-gether, Western Desert, Sicily, Normandy and what ws to follow. Best regards Ted & Irene.|
|Ian Riley (uk)|
( Liverpool Scottish website )
|I am very sorry to hear the news of your Fathers death. I have never met the Sands family in person, but have the greatest admiration for your Father, not simply as being decorated for gallantry, but for the personality that comes across through your excellent website. I had always meant to commemorate my own Father's life and service in this way, but sadly never did before his death in March, pretty much a contemporary of your father, though a gunner. I am sure you will miss your father greatly. Dad taught me so much about fortitude, courage and dignity in his last few months, than I might have believed possible. I have just looked at "Keep 'em Moving" again and seen the simple, yet very moving photo of your father beside Edward Bolster at the Highland Division memorial at Breville. Your father obviously took great pleasure and Pride in being there; I am sure it was a major effort on his part and yours, but so clearly worthwhile. I do hope that the site will continue as a memorial to the Cameron Highlanders and a man whose life spanned two fifths of their regimental history. My sympathies to your family over the loss of a life obviously fully lived. yours Ian|
|A. Schuster (Holland)||Hello Richard, I am sorry to read at your site that your father George has passed away. I am glad that I meet him in 2004 in my town Schijndel. I was in the town hall with part of my collection of ww2. The site is great and I will remember your father, I have deep respect for all the people that liberate us, thats one of the reasons I have a little museum, you are always welcome to visit. I will place a flower at the HD monument in my street for George. Many greetings from Antnio from the village of Schijndel, ps. sorry for the missings in writing.|
|God Bless all brave men, past, present and Future.|
"Keep 'em Moving, Sandy boy "
|Contents Page||Previous Page||Next Page; War-time telegrams, letters, etc.|