France’s top military honour for ex-Gore man

SHARE

Former Gore man Norman (Bunny) Burrows was awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honour recently for services to France in World War 2.
France’s highest military honour was presented to Mr Burrows, who now lives on Whangaparaoa Peninsula, at a ceremony held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
His niece, Betty Burns, said Mr Burrows was born in Gore on November 28, 1919.
“He was educated at East Gore School and Gore High School,” Mrs Burns said.
When war broke out he enlisted with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and was sent to Canada to train as a navigator.
In 1942 he joined RAF Bomber Command, which was based at various airfields in England.
“He flew as part of a seven-man crew in Stirling and Lancaster bombers, surviving more than 50 bombing missions.
“The young men of Bomber Command faced dangers that today we can barely imagine, all in defence of our freedom.
“Their sacrifice and extraordinary courage should never be forgotten,” Mrs Burns said.
After the war Mr Burrows returned to England, where he worked at Kew Gardens in London.
“He thought the knowledge gained there would be useful on returning to the family business, Burrows Bros Nursery, in Gore.”
However, he returned to the air force to navigate for pilots ferrying Mosquito aircraft from England back to New Zealand via Singapore.
“From there it was back to the RNZAF serving in Fiji, Ohakea and Shelly Bay for 15 more years, rising to the rank of squadron leader.”
Her 98-year-old uncle still lived in his own home.
“[He] remains in remarkably good health, despite suffering two minor strokes in the past couple of years.
“He is a very popular member of his local RSA and a very worthy recipient of this latest honour.”