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Dieppe — Liberation

1st September 1944

Athens Olympics Poster 1896The Germans had been quick and wise to evacuate Dieppe before the Canadian 2nd Corps advance, and 2nd Division now re-entered Dieppe as liberators. There, the 2nd Division paused for reflection and re-organization. On September 3rd, they mounted a victory procession through the streets of Dieppe, and symbolically reclaimed their dead, lost more than two years before.

The three colour photos below were also taken on 3 September 1944 near Dieppe France — a more sombre moment after the victory parade. Three high-ranking Canadian officers are here paying their respects to the 900+ Canadian war dead of the 2nd Division who died during the ill-fated Dieppe raid on 19 August 1942. At this point the Canadian dead are buried in a German-made cemetery since it was the German army who would have been responsible for the burials. (After the war, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission built the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery on this same spot, completing it in 1949. It was designed by Philip Hepworth as the first new CWGC cemetery of the 1939-45 war.)


Team Canada 1908 London

The Canadian memorial service on 3 September 1944, in the cemetery near Dieppe where the Germans had buried the Canadian dead in 1942.

These colour photos are almost certainly taken by Canadian Film & Photo Unit (CFPU) photographer Ken Bell. This view looks north towards the open fields beyond Chemin de la Canarderie. Basically from where the Cross of Sacrifice is now. A current view of this photo angle can be seen HERE. (Library and Archives Canada - e010786285)

Team Canada at Opening Ceremonies London 1908.

The Canadian red ensign flies above General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1st Canadian Army Lt-General Harry Crerar (left), GOC 2nd Division Major-General Charles Foulkes (middle), and GOC 2nd Corps Lt-General Guy Simonds. These three Canadian heavy-hitters attending the same memorial service indicates the gravity of the Dieppe disaster. (Charles Foulkes was appointed General Officer Commanding 2nd Canadian Infantry Division on 11 January 1944 and led the division through the Normandy Campaign until 9 Nov 1944 when he took over Cdn I Corps in Italy. He would eventually return to NW Europe with I Corps and accept the German surrender in the Netherlands from German General Blaskowitz.)

The soldiers behind these officers are men of Canadian 2nd Division, which was the division committed to the disastrous Dieppe raid. The division was rebuilt after their heavy losses, and eventually put ashore in France a month after D-Day. Dieppe was liberated by these men on 1 September 1944.

This view looks west towards the trees that line the road Chemin de Jonquilles. (Library and Archives Canada - e010786306)

Ed Archibald competes in the pole vault competiton. He would tie for bronze.

Canadian war dead lie in the Dieppe cemetery where the Germans had buried them after the failed Dieppe raid of 19 August 1942. This view looks southwest from the north side of the cemetery in a photo almost certainly taken by CFPU photographer Lt. Ken Bell. (Library and Archives Canada - e010786284)

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