On August 19, 2017, France commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid in the presence of the last veterans.
August 17th, 2017: Dieppe raid 75th anniversary
Author: François Vanhove
Historians are divided on the question. Was Operation Jubilee necessary to complete the 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 part of the troops are Canadian,” says Mike Cher, Montreal coordinator of the Black Watch Museum’s archives. Quite exactly, there were 4,963 Canadians, 1,075 British and 50 Americans participating in Operation Jubilee. The Black Watch is a small regiment of infantry particularly illustrated on the beach of Puys, attack completely missed on the military plan. “The company was the third wave of attack on this beach,” says Mike Cher. Only, the landing takes 20 minutes late on others taking place on the beaches around. The day is coming up, and Canadians are no longer surprised. The Black Watch of Canada surrenders at 8:30 am, just three hours after setting foot on the beach of Puys.
Another part of the regiment lands on the main beach of Dieppe with explosives and artillery but does not meet much more success. “Of the 112 men in the company 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 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, it is in the air, at the controls of a spitfire he saw the debacle of the Dieppe raid. “I was too young to be sent among ground troops“, says George Brewster. “I’m not a hero, I’m just the fruit of my time, I tried to do the best I could,” he adds soberly.
The lieutenant will return to Dieppe for the first time in August 2017. “I’ve been busy all my life”, he explains, as embarrassed by the question. “It’s a costly trip, but now that I’m assisted by the Veterans Department, I want to go, say thank you to all those young people who were willing to resist.“
Commemorative agenda for the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe landing
Friday, August 18: tribute to the Marine Memorial at 19h; Tribute to the airmen at 15h30 in Saint-Aubin-sur-Scie and at 17h in Saint-Aubin-le-Cauf.
Saturday, August 19: wreath laying on the beach of Puys at 10:30; inauguration of the Calgary monument at noon; Tribute to Canada Square in the presence of Geneviève Darrieussecq, Secretary of State to the Minister of Armies at 3 pm; remembrance choreography at Bas-Fort blanc at 5 pm
Sunday, August 20th: wreath laying at 4.30 pm in Saint-Martin en Campagne and at 5.15 pm in Berneval-le-Grand.