Chairman joins wreath-laying to mark Dieppe Raid

The chairman of East Sussex County Council has attended a ceremony to remember those who lost their lives in one of the most infamous raids of World War Two.

Cllr Colin Belsey travelled to northern France to mark the 71st anniversary of the Dieppe Raid of August 1942.

The raid, which was intended to test Allied readiness for a beach landing on the continent, was a disaster, with more than 3,300 Canadians killed, wounded or taken prisoner, along with 275 British commandos.

The Royal Navy lost one destroyer and 33 landing craft, suffering 550 dead and wounded, while the RAF lost 106 aircraft to the Luftwaffe’s 48. German army casualties numbered just under 600.

Cllr Belsey, who was joined by other East Sussex dignitaries including High Sheriff Graham Peters, laid a wreath on behalf of the county at a service at the Canadian cemetery at Vertus, near Dieppe, and also attended ceremonies in Puys, Saint-Aubin-le-Cauf and Dieppe town.

Cllr Belsey said: “It was an honour to be able to lay wreaths on behalf of East Sussex, to remember the young Canadians and those of other nations who gave their lives in August 1942.

“We owe so much to them and to those who also put their lives on the line for our freedom – and still do.”