Dieppe legacy project honours soldiers from Essex Scottish Regiment
Published Friday, August 18, 2017 12:50PM EDT
It was the single bloodiest day for Canadians during the Second World War.
The 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid will be commemorated on Saturday.
The military operation, in the early hours of Aug. 19, 1942, impacted many families across Windsor and Essex County.
The records show 553 soldiers from the Essex Scottish Regiment landed in Dieppe, France. Officials say 121 were killed, others suffered in PoW camps. Only 51 Essex soldiers made it back to England.
Museum officials in Windsor and Kingsville have been working together for the last two years to create a historical profile of all 553 soldiers.
“We want to know everything about this individual, not just the nine hours that they were on the beach," says Kevin Fox, the curator of the Kingsville Historical Park Museum.
Fox tells CTV Windsor there is no more iconic story for Windsor and Essex County than the Dieppe story, where a group of men were faced with insurmountable odds and rose to the occasion in a commendable manner.
It’s one of the most trying moments in Canadian military history and these individuals showed bravery and courage that goes above and beyond anything I think that you'd ever find in individuals today," says Fox.
An exhibit honouring the Dieppe Raid and the soldiers who sacrificed their lives will open at the Chimczuk Museum on Saturday.
The Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment, led by Lieutenant-Colonel John Hodgins, Commanding Officer, will hold a memorial at Dieppe Gardens on Riverside Drive at 1 p.m.
Research assistant Nicole Chittle tells CTV Windsor the project has impacted her. She encourages people to come share their stories afterwards.
“When I started working on this project, I started to realize it was so much more than a war story,” says Chittle. “It was a person's story."
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has joined a contingent of about 70 local people associated with the Essex Scottish Regiment in France. They are touring battlefields and attending Dieppe Raid ceremonies this weekend.