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

 

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

Just Posted

BREAKING: Delburne man found not guilty in connection with 2016 fatal rollover

Daniel Wayne Newsham had been on trial for manslaughter

Loan officer accused of $1 million fraud to plead guilty

Accused allegedly forged customer names to get loans while working at Sylvan Lake bank

Red Deer to get new plan to end homelessness as problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Ottawa is spending $1.6 billion to help struggling energy companies stay afloat,… Continue reading

Canada ranks 16th on World Economic Forum’s annual gender gap list

TORONTO — Canada has landed the 16th spot in the World Economic… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Most Read