On August 19, 2017, France commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe raid in the presence of the last veterans.
August 17, 2017 : Dieppe raid 75th anniversary
Information source : Paris-Normandie.fr
Author: François Vanhove
Historians are divided on the question. Was Operation Jubilee necessary to complete the preparations of the Normandy Landing of June 6, 1944? The question still arises, 75 years later. But for Canadians, this Dieppe raid of August 19, 1942 is of particular importance. “This is the first time in the history of the Second World War that a large portion of the troops are made up of Canadians” says Mike Cher, Montreal coordinator of the archives of the Museum of the Black Watch of Canada. Quite exactly, there were 4,963 Canadians, 1,075 Britons and 50 Americans to take part in Operation Jubilee. The Black Watch is a small regiment of infantry particularly illustrated on the beach of Puys, attack totally missed on the military plan. “The company was the third wave of attack on this beach” says Mike Cher. But the landing is 20 minutes late on schedule compared to the others landing beaches in the surroundings. Day breaks, and Canadians no longer enjoy the surprise effect. The Black Watch of Canada surrenders at 8:30 am, barely three hours after setting foot on the beach of Puys.
Another part of the regiment arrives on the main beach of Dieppe with explosives and artillery but does not meet much more success. “Of the 112 company men who took part in the fighting, 6 died, 65 were taken prisoner and 41 were able to return to England. 3 died in captivity. “
George Brewster remains humble. He is one of the few veterans who participated in Operation Jubilee in Dieppe in 1942 who travel to France for the commemorations from August 18 to 20. The 94-year-old, who lives in Canada near Vancouver, remembers this attack. He was only 19 years old and just arrived in England after training in Canada. Pilot, like his father and his uncle, he saw in the air, at the controls of a spitfire, the disaster of the raid of Dieppe. “I was too young to be sent among the troops on the ground,” says George Brewster. “I’m not a hero, I’m just the fruit of my time, I tried to do the best that I could” he said soberly.
The lieutenant will return to Dieppe for the first time in August 2017. “I have been busy throughout my life” he justifies himself, as embarrassed by the question. “It’s a costly journey, but now that I’m being helped by the Veterans Department, I want to go and say thank you to all the young people who were willing to resist.“
Commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the Dieppe Landing
Friday, August 18: tribute to the Sailors’ Memorial at 7 pm; Tribute to the aviators at 3:30 pm in Saint-Aubin-sur-Scie and at 5 pm in Saint-Aubin-le-Cauf.
Saturday, August 19: wreath laying on the beach of Puys at 10:30; Inauguration of the Calgary Monument at 12:00 pm; Tribute to Canada Square in the presence of Geneviève Darrieussecq, French Secretary of State to the Minister of Armed Forces at 3 pm; Choreography of the memory at the White Bas-Fort at 5 pm.
Sunday 20th August: wreath laying at 4:30 pm in Saint-Martin in the countryside and at 5:15 pm in Berneval-le-Grand.