Armando Gri

Armando Gri was one of most honoured and decorated non-commissioned officers in the Canadian Army in WWII.

Armando was born in Phoenix, BC on December 25, 1918. He grew up in Trail's Gulch, where he was known as Gabby.

In 1940, Armando enlisted in the Canadian Army. Initially with the Irish Fusiliers (Vancouver regiment) he later transferred to the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's). While serving with the Princess Mary's in France and in Holland Sgt. Gri distinguished himself on numerous occasions. For his acts of bravery and courage as a platoon commander, he was awarded the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

He later received a bar to the Military Medal, and two oak leaves.

Taken a prisoner by the Germans in 1944, Armando endured horrific conditions while being transported in a railway goods van across Germany. Through his foresight in concealing a penknife, Armando and his fellow prisoners were able to carve an escape hatch in the side of the van and make their escape. With the aid of Dutch freedom fighters Armando was able to reach Holland, where he made contact with the British Army.

After the war, Armando worked for construction companies across Canada. He died January 1, 1991 in Vancouver.