Canadians gathered in Calgary to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid and the contributions of Canadians in the Second World War.
CALGARY, Aug. 19, 2017 /CNW/ - The efforts of Canadians at Dieppe helped the Allies eventually achieve victory in the Second World War. The sacrifices and achievements of those who gave so much to help restore peace and freedom to the world will never be forgotten.
Today, on behalf of the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Member of Parliament for Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge, Dan Ruimy joined their Honours, the Honourable Lois Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, his Honour, Honorary Colonel Douglas Mitchell, and members of the King's Own Calgary Regiment Association and Calgarians at The Military Museums to pay tribute and recognize those who served in uniform during the Second World War.
The ceremony included the playing of the Last Post followed by two minutes of silence, the Reveille, the laying of a Regimental wreath, and the reading of the names of the 13 members of the 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment [Tank]) who were killed in action there. Following the ceremony, Mount Royal University introduced Raghed Mirza, a recent recipient of the Captain Douglas Purdy Bursary. This bursary is named in the honour of alumni and Dieppe Raid casualty Captain Purdy, and was presented to Mirza by Purdy's great-niece, Ms. Kelly Ann Purdy.
The Dieppe Raid took place on August 19, 1942, with almost 5,000 Canadians coming ashore along the heavily defended coast of occupied France. Accompanied by British and American troops, the Canadians fought valiantly against the German forces during Operation Jubilee, as the Dieppe Raid was codenamed by the Allies. The Canadians sustained heavy losses with more than 900 of our men making the ultimate sacrifice and some 1,950 more becoming prisoners of war. The hard lessons learned in Operation Jubilee, along with other subsequent landings, helped refine Allied amphibious techniques before the successful D-Day attacks on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Seventy-five years later, Canadians came together both in Canada and in France to remember. Commemorative events and opportunities to learn more about Canadians' actions in Dieppe Raid were organized in communities across Canada. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians gathered to remember this important moment in Canada's military history.
"Today, we remember the sacrifices and bravery shown by Canadians who fought at Dieppe and served throughout the Second World War. We recognize their courage and loss as we pay tribute and honour those who served Canada, at home and abroad, when our country needed them. During this solemn anniversary, we also take time to help tell the stories of Canadians at Dieppe and ensure that their efforts and experiences are shared and never forgotten by future generations."
Member of Parliament for Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge, Dan Ruimy on behalf of The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
"2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the 19 August, 1942 Dieppe Raid. Only six known Veterans of the Calgary Regiment that served in World War II remain alive, three of whom participated in the Dieppe Raid. This is quite possibly the last opportunity for us to have these Veterans participating in this commemoration."
Colonel (Retired) Roy Boehli, CD, Director King's Own Calgary Regiment Association
"The Military Museums of Calgary are proud to host the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid; it is through ceremonies such as this that we ensure that acts of honour and sacrifice are not forgotten. Canadian military history is a rich tapestry of the stories of brave men and women who served our country."
Douglas D. Stinson CD, PEng. Colonel (Retired) Museum Manager, The Military Museums
- The Dieppe Raid began before dawn on August 19, 1942. The operation was intended to test German defences, practice Allied assault techniques, force the enemy to divert military resources from the Eastern Front and acquire valuable intelligence. Supported by British and American commandos, almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers took part in the attack on the occupied French port of Dieppe. Sadly, it would prove to be the bloodiest single day of the entire Second World War for Canada and more than 3,350 of our soldiers were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
- As part of the events marking the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, the King's Own Calgary Regiment dedicated a new monument in Dieppe, France, on August 19, 2017. The monument pays homage to regimental participants in the raid.
- Those who fought in the Dieppe Raid were among the more than one million Canadian men and women who served in uniform during the Second World War.
- The King's Own Calgary Regiment suffered a very high number of casualties during the Dieppe Raid. Of the 421 all ranks of the Regiment who embarked on the raid, there is a total of 180 known casualties, of which 13 were killed in action or died of wounds, with an additional 167 casualties identified as prisoners of war, wounded, and/or missing.
- The Dieppe Raid is significant in the fact that the Calgary Regiment's participation in the raid marks the first time in history that tanks were employed in an amphibious assault. Of the 34 Battle Honours awarded to the Regiment, Dieppe is one of the 20 Battle Honours that are currently emblazoned on the Regimental Guidon.
- The Mount Royal University awards 28 Military Memorial Bursaries annually to full-time students enrolled at the university who are in financial need.
- The Captain Douglas Purdy Military Memorial Bursary was created in honour of the Captain who had attended Mount Royal College and was killed in action at Dieppe on August 19th, 1942.
- 2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada as we remember the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele and Canada 150.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, Vac.firstname.lastname@example.org; Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649