East Sussex dignitaries to mark 70th anniversary of Dieppe Raid in France

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REPRESENTATIVES of East Sussex will attend the French town of Dieppe later this month to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.

East Sussex County Council chairman Chris Dowling will be joined by county dignitaries including the high sheriff of East Sussex David Allam, chairman of Lewes District Council Tony Nicholson and mayor of Newhaven Graham Amy, after an invitation to attend the anniversary was received from the mayor of Dieppe, Sebastian Jumel.

The Dieppe Raid took place on the August 19, 1942, and it was an Allied forces attack against the German-occupied port of Dieppe.

The aim of the mission was to destroy coastal defences and to test the Allies preparedness for a beach landing in France.

The raid was a complete failure. More than 3,300 Canadians and 550 Royal Navy personnel were killed, wounded or taken prisoner compared to considerably lower German army casualties whilst few of the mission objectives were achieved.

Cllr Dowling said: “Some of the troops involved in the raid set off from Newhaven and the anniversary event will give us the chance to mark the huge sacrifice made by all those who took part.”

Cllr Tony Nicholson added: “I will be attending two commemorative services to remember those who were injured and died.

“We owe tremendous gratitude to those who gave their lives and I feel honoured and privileged to attend and pay my respects.”

A memorial service will take place on August 12 in Newhaven, a week before the Dieppe commemoration that falls on the date of the raid.