Nova Scotia-born soldier featured on D-Day silver dollar

Working with local historians and officers of the Bathurst, N.B.-headquartered North Shore Regiment, the Royal Canadian Mint has helped to solve the mystery of the soldier whose face is dramatically portrayed on its 2019 Proof silver dollar commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

That soldier was recently identified as Private George Herman Baker – a member of No. 3 Platoon, A Company, of the North Shore Regiment – who landed with his comrades at Juno Beach, between Courseulles and St-Aubin-sur-Mer, France on June 6, 1944. Baker lived through the Second World War and returned home to Liverpool, N.S., where he raised a family in peacetime.

“The North Shore men fought valiantly securing their landing objectives at the end of D-Day but suffered heavy losses which totaled 120 casualties of which 33 were fatal,” said North Shore Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Renald Dufour, who was one of four experts consulted by the Mint to ensure the accuracy of the coin design.

“The D-Day landing was one of the most significant events in Canadian military history and our regiment was at the centre of it, with three other assaulting units. Honouring and recognizing nationally our soldiers’ legacy and their families’ sacrifices on the eve of the 75th anniversary with a commemorative coin is a remarkable and world-class act.”

Other experts who helped determine Baker’s identity include Brandon Savage, historian and teacher at Miramichi Valley High School; Dr. Marc Milner, military historian at the University of New Brunswick; and amateur historian Bruce Morton, of Barrie, Ont.


Born in Nova Scotia on Aug. 31, 1923, Baker was only 20 years old when he made history at Juno Beach. He died in South Brookfield, N.S., on July 23, 2003.

He’s survived by his daughter Karen McLeod, to whom the Mint presented its coin in honour of her late father.

Like so many other brave Canadians on D-Day, Baker risked everything to help restore an Allied foothold on the Western Front and eventually win the Second World War for Canada and its allies.

His image was adapted from several frames of archival film footage loaned to the Mint by the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy France. The 75-year-old film provides a rare and unique perspective of the North Shore Regiment landing at the Nan Red sector of Juno Beach.


“Helping to solve a 75-year-old mystery has been an exciting and humbling experience,” said Savage. “As the grandson of a soldier of the North Shore Regiment who braved that fateful day, I am truly honoured that the Mint decided to pay homage not only to the regiment, but to the families who lost loved ones and those who supported the ones who came home. We now know that Private George Baker is the person behind the iconic D-Day footage. Private Baker represents the many men who defied their fears to make that heroic leap onto Juno Beach 75 years ago. We owe these courageous men our gratitude and I feel this coin represents that.”

Designed by Simcoe-area artist Tony Bianco, the 2019 Proof silver dollar vividly depicts Canadians coming ashore under enemy fire as a testament to the brave soldiers who fought in the Second World War. Multiple engravings of the letter “V” for victory in Morse Code further illustrate the magnitude of an incredible moment in Baker’s life and all those who fought alongside him at Juno Beach.

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