France honours Chic for Second World War heroics

Charles 'Chic' Garvie.
Charles 'Chic' Garvie.

The former owner of Garvies Lemonade Factory in Milngavie has been honoured with the Legion d’Honneur medal for wartime service.

Charles ‘Chic’ Garvie was recently appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur by the French President in recognition of his involvement in the liberation of France during the Second World War.

The 91-year-old was in tank transportation helping to co-ordinate the delivery of armoured vehicles to the troops as they battled to liberate the continent from the evils of Hitler’s dictatorship.

Although not one of the very first wave of soldiers to land on the beaches of Normandy, Chic’s role was nonetheless very dangerous, as Hermann Goring’s Luftwaffe targeted the supply convoys that re-supplied the troops fighting at the front line.

Chic was with 15 Tank Transport Co RASC and carried Lothian and Border Yeomanry to Normandy.

His main role was as a driver and, according to his daughter Margo, he has not really talked about his experiences until quite recently.

Margo, who is married and now lives in Moffat, said: “He never really said very much about his war days.

“I think he wanted to forget about it and get on with his life.

“He has however mentioned specific areas in which he was active, such as Arrowmanches, Bayeux, Aunay Sur Odon, Villers Bocage and Falaise.

“But he never really went into much detail about what he saw.”

After the war Chic returned to Milngavie where he ran the well known, and well loved family business that his father had set up, until it closed in 1985.

He moved to Moffat about 20 years ago to be closer to Margo who has a daughter Katy and son Tom who all look after him.

Margo added: “Chic has a very strong character and a great sense of humour.

“He could have gone to get his medal, but he is not very well at the moment so it was sent to him recorded delivery.

“We are all so delighted that he has been honoured in this way after all these years.”

Chic’s grandson Tom, a solicitor in Moffat, added: “Among the older generation of people in Milngavie, he is still well remembered .

“He was born in Glasgow, but lived for many years in Bearsden and then Milngavie. I think people will be interested to read about him in the Milngavie Herald.”

The Legion of Honour’s full name is National Order of the Legion of Honour and it is the highest French order for military and civil merits.

It was established 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte following the French Revolution, to replace all French orders of chivalry.