Windsor hosting national ceremony today to mark the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe raid

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There’ll be a national memorial today at Windsor’s Dieppe Gardens to remember Canadians who died 80 years ago in a bloody raid at Dieppe.

Veterans Affairs Canada will host the event at 78 Riverside Dr. W., which CBC News will broadcast live. The parade into the event starts at 11:30 a.m., and the event itself at 12:10 p.m.

John L. Date, one of the last surviving members of the Dieppe raid, will be there. Second World War veterans David Adlington, Arthur Boon and Charles Davis are also invited. 

Ontario’s lieutenant-governor will be there, as will numerous military and political officials. The Essex and Kent Regimental Association, which lost 121 members in the raid, will also participate. 

Allies conduct a final exercise before landing at Dieppe. (Library and Archives Canada)

Two members of the regiment will be at ceremonies in Dieppe, France, today. 

In Windsor, a bugler will play Last Post at 1 p.m., followed by a flyover by historic aircraft from the Canadian Aviation Museum. 

The Dieppe raid happened on Aug. 19, 1942. 

The Allies initially planned to land on the shore in the cover of darkness, said Veterans Affairs Canada. But the landing was delayed. As the assault forces were on en route, they came across a small German convoy. 

An Allied plane is shown in the skies above Dieppe, France, on Aug. 19, 1942, the day of the failed Dieppe Raid. (Canada. Minister of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-183771)

The sound of the battle between the two alerted a German coastal defence force, Veterans Affairs said. As the Allies landed, the enemy was waiting. 

Canadians made up the majority of the troops in the assault, and 916 of 4,963 of them died. There were 3,367 casualties altogether, including 1,946 prisoners of war.

A memorial at Square du Canada in the town of Dieppe remembers the Canadian contribution. The plaque reads:

“On the 19th of August 1942 on the beaches of Dieppe our Canadian cousins marked with their blood the road to our final liberation foretelling thus their victorious return on September 1, 1944.”

How to watch

CBC Windsor will live stream the event on this page, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

CBC News Network is also scheduled to televise the event live from Windsor.

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