- Our Town
Veteran reflects on D-Day anniversary
Cliff Stinson was there when the Canadians stormed Juno Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
The 88-year-old Williams Lake resident was a dispatch rider for signals.
“I delivered messages,” Stinson said.
The dispatchers worked out of a holding unit and Stinson said he spent most of his time with the British Army.
Originally from Verdun, Man., Stinson enlisted at Port Arthur, Ont., which is now part of Thunder Bay.
As a young 18-year-old, he remembers the water being very rough on D-Day.
“We had to wade in and it was up to our chests. I was pushing that stupid motorcycle,” he recalled.
Last Friday evening Stinson attended a D-Day anniversary celebration hosted at the Royal Canadian Legion in Williams Lake.
The celebration was very well attended, however, he was the only one there who invaded Normandy.
Stinson has made his home in the Cariboo since 1978.
His arrival and subsequent stay, “just happened,” he said.
A sister-in-law invited him and his wife Cecilia to come up from Surrey to go fishing.
There happened to be a land auction taking place during the time he was here. He attended and ended up bidding and buying three and half acres of land on McPherson Wynd off the Dog Creek Road.
“A wynd is a Scottish path,” he explained. “I didn’t know that until I’d been living here for 20 years.”
At the time he was working as bridge maker out of Surrey and was always away from home, so his wife moved and he continued working out of Surrey while their permanent home was in Williams Lake.
When asked if he had a comment about the second world war, McPherson said he didn’t.
“I am 88 now, but I was young then,” he said. “Most of the people who were there are dead now. In 12 years I will be 100.”