On May 18, 1962, Sapper George Grant Thompson died of a heart attack at 37 years of age, while on active service in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) operations as a member of the Royal Canadian Engineer Detachment. This force was established in November 1956, firstly to increase the security in the Egyptian territory, supervise the termination of hostilities and withdrawal of French, British and Israeli forces from the region; and secondly to act as a buffer between the Egyptian and Israeli forces.
Sapper Thompson is interned in the Gaza War Cemetery in Gaza, Palestine.
The Colonel-Commandant, Brigadier- General T.H.M. Silva, CD, and the J3 Engineer, Brigadier-General S. Irwin, CD, were honoured to present Sapper George Grant Thompson’s decorations, to his widow, Mrs. Norma Hitchcock, of Perth Andover, New Brunswick.
Awarded posthumously were:
- United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) - awarded by Canada and the United Nations to all who served on the force and to the loved ones of the Canadian Forces members (posthumously) in recognition of service in the peacekeeping operation in Egypt.
- Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal - represents the peacekeeping service performed with a force under the auspices of the United Nations, or with another international force, and is awarded by the Governor in Council to any Canadian citizen who served at the initiative, by the nomination or with the agreement of the Government of Canada, with such a force.
In recognition of her loss, Mrs Hitchcock was awarded the:
- Canadian Memorial Cross - issued as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of mothers and widows of personnel of the Canadian Forces who have laid down their lives for their country whilst in, or proceeding to or returning from, an area of hostilities outside of Canada.
- United Nations Dag Hammarsskjold Medal - granted posthumously to the loved ones of the Canadian Forces members who lost their lives on United Nations peacekeeping operations.