Pourville Memorial

Two miles west of Dieppe lies the Village of Pourville. Its beach, code-named Green Beach during the Dieppe Raid, is isolated from the Dieppe beaches by tall cliffs that dominate on both sides. The attack on Pourville was one of the four simultaneous flank attacks to precede the main attack during the Dieppe Raid.

The Canadians were fortunate enough at Pourville to achieve some degree of surprise. The initial opposition was light as the South Saskatchewan Regiment and Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada assaulted the beaches. Resistance stiffened as they crossed the River Scie and pushed toward Dieppe proper. As a result of heavy fighting, the South Saskatchewan Regiment was stopped well short of the town. Meanwhile, the main force of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders pushed on toward their objective, an inland airfield, and advanced some three kilometres before they too were forced to halt. Both regiments then attempted to withdraw.

The two regiments lost heavily during the withdrawal. The enemy was able to bring fierce fire to bear upon the beach from dominant positions east of Pourville and from the high ground to the west. Allied landing craft came in through the resulting storm of fire with self-sacrificing gallantry and, supported by a courageous rearguard, the greater part of both units successfully evacuated, though many of the men were wounded. Unfortunately, the rearguard itself could not be brought off and, when ammunition ran out and further evacuation was impossible, the men were forced to surrender.

On October 2, 1942, Lieutenant-Colonel Cecil (Charles) Merritt was awarded the Victoria Cross for his leadership and courage at Pourville. Despite the bravery and dedication of Merritt and his men, the death toll on Green Beach was devastatingly high. In just a few short hours, 84 of the South Saskatchewan Regiment and 76 of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders lost their lives. Their sacrifice is commemorated on the Pourville Memorial.

Directions

Pourville is a small town roughly 6 kilometres west of the City of Dieppe on route D75. The Pourville monument is located in the centre of the town beside the local church on rue du 19 Aout 1942.

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