70th ANNIVERSAY OF THE DIEPPE RAID
August 14 2012.
Hundreds of people attended the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid which took place on Sunday 12th August at the Memorial Green, South Way, Newhaven. The sun shone and there was a wonderful atmosphere on the green as wreaths were laid by civic dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant, the Mayor of Newhaven, the Deputy Mayor of Dieppe and representatives from the Canadian High Commission, the US Embassy and the French consulate. However, it was the wreaths laid by veterans which the watching crowd appreciated the most. As some of them walked painfully across the green with their sticks to lay their tribute to their fallen comrades the crowd burst into spontaneous applause.
Unfortunately, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was unable to fly past due to last minute engine problems with their elderly aircraft. They were very upset to let the occasion down as the Dieppe Raid holds a special place in their hearts - one of their Spitfires took part in the Raid.
After the ceremony was over, Perky Mellow, a British Veteran of the Raid who had been the coxswain of one of the craft landing troops on the beach told the Mayor that this was the best day of his life. What happened on that August night had remained with him all his life and he was so thankful to have been able to come to Newhaven and share his experiences with former comrades and local people 70 years on.