Red Deer veteran Richard Franklin Krepps, who goes by Frank, has been awarded “the rank of Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.” Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Red Deer veteran given highest honour from France

Richard Krepps who goes by Frank helped liberate France in Second World War

One Red Deer veteran says he had the loneliest job during the Second World War, and now he has been recognized for it.

Richard Franklin Krepps, who goes by Frank, has been awarded “the rank of Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.”

Krepps, 95, said he feels proud. He left to serve overseas in 1941 and returned after the war ended in 1945. During that period, he was in France, Holland and Germany.

The French National Order recognized Krepps’ “personal involvement” in liberating France during the war, a courtesy translation letter states.

“Through you, France remembers the sacrifice of all your compatriots who came to liberate French soil,” the letter states.

“I gave France their freedom, it’s a freedom medal,” explained Krepps from his home Wednesday.

Guy Black, a B.C. volunteer who helps veterans achieve this honour, said the Legion of Honour is France’s highest decoration and is equal to the Order of Canada.

He said living Canadian veterans who helped liberate France between June and August 1944 may be eligible for the recognition.

Krepps was a dispatch rider, delivering orders for the Royal Canadian Engineers, as part of the Canadian Army during the Second World War by motorcycle.

“Come hell or high water, I had to do it,” he said about delivering orders and messages. What those orders were is something Krepps never knew.

Remembering the hard times, the Saskatchewan-born veteran said he was on his own while performing his job.

“I was scared, I was alone. I had the loneliest job there was,” he said, adding, “I rode my motorcycle on my own and lonely.”

The ride wasn’t smooth, and sometimes, he was riding on for 30 or 40 miles.

“Main roads were full of shell holes and I had to get by – I was the best rider there was,” he said with a chuckle.

The veteran had protective gear, such as goggles and a leather jacket, but there was one instance when Krepps was wounded and ended up in hospital.

“I got a shrapnel in the eye,” he said. “For some reason, I didn’t have my goggles on … but the doctor who operated on me, he was a good surgeon.”

The veteran was unconscious and does not remember how he got to the British hospital.

Despite the eye injury, the hospital trip brought some joy. After he was treated, the veteran found his older brother Rex, who worked at a Canadian hospital in an administrative capacity.

“After I got out, I found out where he was and he said ‘Frank how did you find me?’ and I said, ‘To be a dispatcher means I can find anyone,’” he said with a smile.

After that, Krepps gave a motorcycle ride to his older brother.

“I chose the best road there was all full of shell holes,” he said with a chuckle.

The veteran has been a Red Deer resident since 2013.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Red Deer veteran Richard Franklin Krepps, who goes by Frank, has been awarded “the rank of Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.” Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Comments are closed

Just Posted

3 active COVID-19 cases remain in Red Deer

47 new cases Tuesday in Alberta, still 620 active cases

Severe thunderstorm watch in place for Red Deer

Environment Canada issued the watch Tuesday afternoon.

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance after hit and run with pedestrian

A hit-and-run collision sent a pedestrian to hospital Monday evening in Red… Continue reading

COVID-19 milestones recounted in Red Deer museum display

Citizens have been adapting to the ‘new normal’ in innovative ways

Central Alberta artist depicts those lazy, hazy (virus-free) days of summer at Sylvan Lake

David More’s Shore Figures exhibit is showing at the Red Deer museum

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Red Deer Catalina Swim Club swimmers back in the water

Monday was a joyous day all around for the Red Deer Catalina… Continue reading

Bitcoin scam nearly costs Red Deer man $90,000

It was a simple sign that saved the day for a local… Continue reading

Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre set to reopen

The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre is set to reopen its… Continue reading

Bears trying to live with people, but it still isn’t enough: study

Bears in populated areas have changed how they hunt

Alberta to streamline approvals for new private clinics to boost surgeries

“Our proposed changes will provide more voice and choice to Albertans and physicians”

Alberta justice minister cleared in ethics case tied to oil funding inquiry

“They were simply acquaintances in Calgary who occasionally communicated”

Opinion: Virus hastens cashless society

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted retailers to ask customers to wear masks,… Continue reading

Most Read