Thursday, July 18, 2024

Ottawa D-Day veteran Roly Armitage dies at age 99

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An Ottawa D-Day veteran has died just weeks after the 80th anniversary of Canadian soldiers landing on Juno Beach in Normandy, France.

Second World War veteran Roly Armitage died this week in Ottawa at the age of 99.

“Very sorry to hear about the passage of Dr. Roly Armitage. A WW2 veteran, mayor of West Carleton, veterinarian, author and a good decent human being,” former mayor Jim Watson said on Twitter.

Armitage was a veterinarian, the former mayor of West Carleton Township and a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He was inducted to the Order of Ontario and Order of Ottawa.

Kanata MP Jenna Sudds said, “I had the pleasure of meeting Roly on several occasions, and he has been a friend and hero to so many.

“You will be missed, Roly, but your legacy will live on forever.”

Ottawa MPP Karen McCrimmon posted on Facebook, “with a broken heart, I share with you that my friend and hero Dr. Roly Armitage died (Wednesday) at Perley Rideau Veterans Home.”

“Big hugs and heartfelt condolences to his family and the legions of friends who loved him like we did!”

Armitage had hoped to travel to France earlier this month for ceremonies marking the anniversary of D-Day, but was unable to make the trip due to medical reasons.

Former coun. Eli El-Chantiry posted a photo on social media on June 4 with Armitage at the Pearley Health Veterans Centre, saying it was a “nice and inspiring visit with my friend and mentor.”

Last year, CTV News Ottawa shared the story Armitage reuniting with the girl he rescued when she was just three years old in Holland during the Second World War. Sonja Jobes travelled from Minnesota to Ottawa to meet Armitage, after coming across an article online in the Dutch media sharing Armitage’s story.

Armitage was behind the wheel of a jeep on a cold night in 1944 when something caught his eye in a nearby ditch.  He brought both of them out of the ditch and to a nearby field kitchen to eat and warm up.

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