National Defence and the Canadian Forces

4 Cdn Division
4th Canadian Division

31 Canadian Brigade Group

Operation Yellow Ribbon

Return to Dieppe Series - Sunset at the RHLI Monument

Finally, that last half-kilometre was covered in fine style, our band and contingent leading the way to the RHLI memorial. Accompanying us was the official guard for one last time, along with two members of the RCMP in full Scarlet uniform, lending a very poignant touch to the scene. To hear the Last Post played in the very location where so many Rileys paid the ultimate sacrifice is to have an image indelibly seared on one's soul.

The RCMP provided a reminder of home through the two officers seconded to take post at all Dieppe 60th ceremonies. It is little known that the RCMP, which was created as a semi-military body and maintains Regimental Headquarters at their barracks in Regina, served overseas during World War II in many roles, and even today take part in UN missions overseas.

RHLI Dieppe Veteran Frank Volterman leads the contingent in The Veterans Prayer during the moving service the RHLI monument on the beach at Dieppe.

Again, members of our two Cadet Corps took part in the official services, lending a junior but very welcome military presence to the service.

A view of the RHLI monument at Dieppe, castle in the background, at sunrise August 19th, 2002 - 60 years to the minute when our Regiment stormed ashore into martyrdom and history. The monument is located in the middle of White Beach West, the RHLI sector where dozens of Hamilton boys were gunned down even before reaching shore.

Looking to seaward from the RHLI monument. 60 years before this picture was taken, the beach was a blackened and bloody scene, with mortar and small arms ammunition exploding and ricocheting. Landing craft littered the shore, burning. Troops hung dead from barbed wire atop the seawall you can see here. The Churchills of the Calgary tanks were stranded like iron monsters, tracks snapped on the shingle rocks. Offshore, destroyers made smoke and shelled German positions, while overhead, the RAF and RCAF were engaged in their biggest single engagement of the war.

Story and Photos by Captain Tim Fletcher


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