The Stettler Legion is taking a moment on August 19 to mark the 75th anniversary of Dieppe “Operation Jubilee” and honour the B Squadron- 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment.
On August 19, 1942, Allied Forces staged the raid on the German occupied port. Of the nearly 5,000 Canadians that fought, 3,367 were killed wounded or taken hostage.
Rosalind LaRose, who is organizing the event, knows the story well.
“I’m a daughter of a POW, so this is a hugely important date for me,” she said.
She explains that her mother was war bride from Scotland, and when they came to Stettler, the veterans and the Legion became their family. She says they have always marked August 19, the day the many men were taken prisoner.
“The United States had tried this once, so the Germans were well prepared,” she said.
She explains that her father, Albert Chick, and a number of his contemporaries from Stettler were part of the raid.
“Many of his good friends are from here because the Squadron B sign up was in Stettler. It was Squadron B that was captured.”
I spoke to many of the POWs prior to their passing and when they were put on those boats, they weren’t told where they were going. It wasn’t released where they were heading until they got out on the water the night of the 18th,” she explained.
“They said their goodbyes to each other. They said they were never going to live through it.”
The men were not freed until VE Day, and they were flown back to England.
LaRose has partnered Malcolm Bissett to hold the event and they have invited the Big Valley Legionaries to the event, as many veterans from Big Valley would have signed up at for B Squadron.
Larose has personally invited a number of the families of the POWs to the event.
The day begins at 10:30 a.m. with a parade to Sharpe’s Park, followed by an Opening Ceremony and wreath laying service.
At 2 p.m. the will be the dedication of a Dieppe “Operation Jubilee” Exhibit dedicated to Members of B Squadron.
For more information on the day’s activities go to the Stettler Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59 Facebook page or contact LaRose at 403-323-0343.