This video documents the last visit of Private Joe Ryan of the Royal Regiment of Canada to the beach that he and five thousand Canadian soldiers attacked on August 19, 1942. Nine hundred were killed and two thousand taken prisoner by the Germans. It was the first encounter with the enemy on the coast of occupied France for Canadian forces.
Joe Ryan was wounded and made a prisoner of war for almost three years before returning to his home in Mississauga, Ontario after the war in 1945. Joe was a Dentist and supported Army Cadets and often spoke to Ontario school children. Joe and I visited Dieppe on the 65th anniversary of the landing in 2007, walking the beach and visiting the Canadian cemetery where over 700 of his friends are buried. He recalled in great detail the disastrous raid and the friends left behind.
The veterans of WWII are passing away rapidly and will soon be gone, many with their memories of wartime experience untold. Joe died at age 89 in 2009. This brief documentary honors all the veterans of WWII and reminds us of their sacrifice. Those who seek glory in war will not find it on the beaches of Dieppe. Those who seek tales of valor need look no further.
Don North, Fairfax , VA
Please click this link and use the password “Dieppe1” to see the video.