Devil's Brigade veteran cherishes new commemorative coin
Published Monday, November 11, 2013 3:27PM AST
Last Updated Monday, November 11, 2013 6:23PM AST
This summer, the Canadian Mint released a special commemorative coin made of solid silver to honour the Devil’s Brigade, an elite fighting unit from the Second World War.
Herb Peppard, a 93-year-old war veteran who served with the unit, treasures the special $5 coin.
“One for me and one for my children and I find them very nice, lovely,” says the Truro, N.S. native.
Out of the 3,000 original unit members, Peppard is among the last 60 Canadians remaining. He says the commemorative coin is a touching honour for him and his comrades.
“I just completely didn’t expect it, and when it came, it really got me,” he says.
Irene Chisholm of Antigonish, N.S. says she and her family share the same thoughts about the coin. Her late father, Mallie MacKinnon, was also in the Devil’s Brigade.
She says she’s proud to have her father’s beret with the distinctive Devil’s Brigade arrowhead on the front.
Her family purchased several of the coins at their local post office.
“It gives you a feeling of enormous pride and knowing that your father was a small part of it because there were a lot of men, but he had his place in it,” says Chisholm. “The only thing that’s kind of sad is he’s not here to tell him we are very proud.”
MacKinnon’s granddaughter, Megan Juurlink, knew her grandfather was part of something special, even though he didn’t talk about it much.
“To see the Mint recognize it and make a commemorative coin was just further emphasis on how amazing this group was, so it was pretty cool,” says Juurlink.
About 20,000 of the commemorative coins have been made available for worldwide circulation. They can be purchased at Canada Post offices.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh