Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

August 19, 2007 09:00 ET

Veterans Affairs Canada/Day Two: Canada Remembers the 65th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid

DIEPPE, FRANCE--(Marketwire - Aug. 19, 2007) - Canadian Veterans were treated to a hero's welcome in France today as they returned to this coastal town to mark the 65th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. In a spontaneous outpouring of gratitude and admiration, spectators lined the streets of Dieppe to pay an emotional tribute to the Veterans who are in France as part of the Government of Canada's official delegation.

"The reception we received from the people of Dieppe and visitors to the town was truly remarkable and moving," said Minister Thompson, who is leading the Canadian delegation that also includes representatives of Veterans' organizations, parliamentarians and youth. "As our Veterans made their way through the town, people started applauding, taking pictures and, in many cases, reaching out in a bid to touch and say 'thank you' to their Canadian heroes.

"After 65 years, they have not forgotten the sacrifices that were made for their freedom," said Minister Thompson.

On August 19, 1942, almost 5,000 members of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division landed on the shores of Dieppe, as part of Operation Jubilee. The landing would prove to be Canada's single costliest day of the Second World War with more than 3,300 casualties, including 913 Canadians who lost their lives that day or died later from their wounds. Another 1,946 Canadians were taken prisoners of war.

But Allied commanders would later credit the Dieppe Raid for sparking strategic and tactical innovations that would save many other lives during the Normandy landings on D-Day two years later.

On this second day of their trip, members of the Canadian delegation also visited the Cimetiere des Vertus (Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery) where they honoured the 707 Canadians buried there; the Square du Canada, where the Dieppe-Canada Monument recognizes the ties between Canada and Normandy; and Saint-Sever Cemetery in Rouen where 27 Canadians, who died as a result of the Dieppe Raid, are buried. Sister Agnes-Marie Valois, a nurse who cared for many of the Canadians wounded during the Raid, met with Veterans at the Saint-Sever Cemetery.

Canadians also gathered at home to mark the 65th anniversary with ceremonies today and leading up to today in Ottawa, Dieppe, New Brunswick, Longueuil, Quebec and Iqaluit, Nunavut.

More information on in-Canada and overseas events, including reports and photos, can be found on the Veterans Affairs Canada 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