Spr Ralph Hebb (Ret'd)
We regret to advise of the death of Sapper Ralph Whitfield Hebb (Ret'd) of Hebbs Cross, NS at the age of 97 at the Veterans’ Unit of the Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg, NS on 24 April 2016.
In his early years, Ralph lived and worked on the farm and in the woods until he joined the Canadian Army in 1941. He served in the 3rd Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Platoon, Royal Canadian Engineers and landed in Normandy only five days after D-Day. Ralph saw action in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and often worked with 10th Field Park Company as they helped maintain the momentum of the Allied forces in their advance across Northwest Europe with bridge building and road construction.
In September 1944 Ralph took part in Operation BERLIN, the rescue of some 2500 encircled Allied airborne troops after the failure of Op MARKET GARDEN. He helped to keep the vital outboard motors in operation throughout the rescue during the night 25/26 September 1944. Ralph also recalled his work on the repair of a confiscated printing press in Caen that enabled the printing of the first edition of the Maple Leaf newspaper in Europe on 27 July 1944.
Returning to Canada in 1946, Ralph worked at carpentry jobs for Acadia Construction until 1960 when he became the head ful- time janitor at Hebbville Consolidated High School. He was always an active and committed member of the community whether it was his church, the volunteer Fire Department, the Willing Workers Club, the Home and School Association, boys baseball, or Bluenose Golden K Club. In his post-retirement days he was much in demand at public events for his recitations.
In recent years Ralph’s war service was recognized by two foreign governments. In 2010 as a Canadian Veteran, he received the “Thank You Medal” from the government of the Netherlands. In 2014, as well as participating in the Government of Canada sponsored pilgrimage to Normandy, later in that year he was the recipient of the French Republic’s Legion of Honor for his role in the Battle of France.
The family will receive friends at the R.A. Corkum Funeral Home, Wileville, from 7:00-9:00 pm Wednesday, 27 April with a public Legion Tribute Service at 6:30 pm. The Anglican Burial Office will be said at St. James Anglican Church, Conquerall Mills, at 2:00 pm Thursday, 28 April. Committal will immediately follow the service in the Parish Cemetery. A reception for Family and Friends will be held at the Hebb's Cross Fire Department following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. James Anglican Church, Conquerall Mills, Hebb’s Cross Fire Department or the Charity of your choice. On-line condolences may be made by visiting www.corkumfuneralhome.ca