Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

August 20, 2007 09:35 ET

Veterans Affairs Canada/Day Three: Canadian Delegation Wraps Up Commemorative Visit

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2007) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined by Canadian Veterans, fellow parliamentarians and youth, today attended a ceremony of remembrance to mark the 65th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. At the Pourville Memorial, the delegation paid tribute to the men of the South Saskatchewan Regiment and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. They also honoured Victoria Cross recipient the late Lieutenant-Colonel (Charles) Cecil Merritt.

"The Dieppe Raid was one of Canada's most tragic battles of the 20th Century, and one which Canadians will never forget," said Minister Thompson. "It is an honour to be here at the Pourville Memorial, which stands as a lasting reminder of the men of the South Saskatchewan Regiment and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders who lost their lives on this beach 65 years ago."

In the early morning hours of August 19, 1942, Canadians surprised the enemy at Pourville. The South Saskatchewan Regiment and Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada assaulted the beaches and crossed the River Scie. After heavy fighting, they were stopped short of the town of Dieppe. When both regiments attempted to withdraw, they were faced with enemy artillery fire and suffered heavy losses. Despite being wounded twice, Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt courageously commanded a rearguard action that allowed most of the units to successfully evacuate. For this and his actions in bravely leading the dangerous advance across a nearby bridge, Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt was awarded the Victoria Cross. The bridge he led his men across has since been renamed Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt's Bridge.

This event marks the last official event for the Canadian delegation, which will depart France for Montreal tomorrow after three full days of events in honour of the 65th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.

"Our visit to Dieppe has been truly unforgettable. It was an honour and a humbling privilege to have been the voice of our Veterans during our time here," said Minister Thompson. "I want to thank the Veterans of the Dieppe Raid and the Second World War who have shared both this journey and their memories with us over the past few days. We will never forget what you and your fallen brothers have done for us."

More information on in-Canada and overseas events, including reports and photos, can be found on the Veterans Affairs Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649