Windsor to commemorate 80th Anniversary of The Dieppe Raid

A City of Windsor garden in Dieppe Park May 20, 2015. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Friday marks 80 years since the Allied amphibious attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe, France, and the City of Windsor will commemorate the event in Dieppe Park.

The Dieppe Raid was one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Over ten hours, more than half of the men who landed on the beach were killed, wounded, or captured.

Over 6,000 infantry, mostly Canadian, tried to capture the port and hold it. However, aerial and naval support was insufficient, and they became trapped on the beach under German fire.

Lessons learned during the Dieppe Raid influenced the success of the D-Day landings almost two years later, which began the liberation of Western Europe.

The city’s event starts at 11:45 a.m. with wreath-laying ceremonies at Dieppe Gardens before the commemoration. Wreaths will be laid at the Royal Canadian Air Force Monument and the Anchor Memorial Monument.

The ceremonial march gets underway at 12:10 p.m. The parade, led by the Essex and Kent Pipe and Drum band, will march from the Great Canadian Flag to the Red Beach Monument, also known as the Dieppe Monument.

Immediately after, an 80th Anniversary of The Dieppe Raid Signature Commemoration Event will take place, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Silver Cross Monument.

This year’s delegation will include Dieppe Veteran Sapper John L. Date, World War II Veterans Charles Davis and Arthur Boon, and representatives from Veteran Affairs Canada. City of Windsor representatives include Indigenous Storyteller Theresa Sims, Youth Poet Laureate Alexei Ungurenasu, and Education Coordinator at Museum Windsor, Matthew Pritchard. Silver Cross Mother Theresa Charboneau, who lost her son Corporal Andrew Grenon in Afghanistan, will also participate.

For those who cannot attend but wish to watch from home, the event will be live-streamed on Facebook.