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Boarding a Ship for Dieppe

The Dieppe Raid

Boarding a Ship for Dieppe

Then the rumours started going fast, “Where the hell were we going?” you know. and then the message came over from PA, it was the Colonel and he said, “Men, we’re going to Dieppe.” Well everybody groaned and... because it was back on again, ya know and I guess everybody was thinking, “My God, what did I say in that pub?” you know. So anyway, the platoon officer, John Brick, come up to me and he said, “You’re the only married guy in the platoon.” He said, “You’re staying back. You look after the equipment.” And he said each man had to write last will and testament and their last letters to their next of kin. So anyway I had to do it, we all had to do it and I collected these things. I started to think about it, that I’d been with this gang since September 1939 and we’d gone through thick and thin, had fun and worked our arse off and everything else and I’m no hero, but I felt that I had to go with them. So I went back to John Brick, or the sergeant, his name was Ian MacFarland and I said, “How do I get back on the trip?” “You find somebody to take your place, you’re back in and you come back to what you were gonna do.” I was supposed to be in charge of... of radio communications for “C” company. So I went around to different fellows in the platoon and “no”, “no”, “no”, “no” ... and then the last man I went to, he had only been with us about six months, well he’s my last chance and I poured it on anyway, “I’d been with them this long and whatnot and I wanted to go on with them.” So he said “Okay.” So I handed him all the stuff I had, went back to Brick and said “I’m on” and he said, “Go see Major Green,” he was the company commander. So I went and saw him and, “Okay, who’s your other two men?” I told him and so he said, “You’ll be coming off on a boat, on a landing ship, you won’t be with me,” but he said, “A runner will meet you on shore and take you to me. So okay and I said, “That’s two of us” I said, and I said, “ I have another man, Rinker” and he said “He’ll be coming in on another landing ship with my brother.” Okay that’s fine. So anyway, we go in and in spite of it being so dangerous and everything else you never saw the sky lit up like it was, it was like the first of July. It was absolutely fantastic, with the tracers and the colours and that were just out of this world. And some guys were just standing up and “Get down you stupid fool” you know. And anyway, we were met with shell fire and we landed at 5:20 in the morning.

Mr. Gorman continues his account of the events that took him to the beach at Dieppe, France. He’s aboard the ship Leopold sailing from a port in Southampton, England.

Donald Gorman

Mr. Gorman was born June 23, 1921. His father was a stationary engineer at one of Windsor’s high schools and was a veteran of both the Boer War and the First World War. Mr. Gorman left school after achieving junior matriculation. He held jobs in a bakery, a fish market and as an apprentice mechanic at Remington-Rand typewriter factory in Windsor. After enlisting on September 16, 1939, he took his basic training in Windsor before being moved to Camp Borden for advanced training in June, 1940. Mr. Gorman went overseas with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Regiment and was involved in the Dieppe Raid.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Donald Gorman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Essex Scottish Regiment

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