Language selection


We did what we had to do!

Heroes Remember

We did what we had to do!

Well you know the raid was supposed to be July the 4th or July the 3rd I think they said and then they said a storm or something and we always said the Germans weren’t ready for us. Practically it was that way. We were briefed when we were supposed to go on July the 4th. The beach was an ordinary beach like but it was these stones but anyhow it was an ordinary beach. And then when we were briefed on August the 19th there was a trench dug there. You see that’s what stopped the tanks or a lot of them broke their track. Now whether they put these barriers up on the streets after that we don’t know. You wonder sometimes why they done it, you know, sending five thousand men over there. There’s a lot more to it than we know, you know, what goes behind and there was supposed to be some radar thing that they were really trying to get, that was what the raid was all about because U-boats were getting control of the ocean eh and they couldn’t get their radar to find out where they were and apparently after that, they did. So some of them said, well how did you feel, like it was a slaughter and whatnot. Whatever they do you have to do eh, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I never felt that we were put in there as gun fodder or anything like that. We had a purpose and a lot of them still say that it was the Dieppe Raid that made D-day possible.

Mr. Cole provides his opinion on the purpose and actions taken during the battle of the Dieppe Raid.

Elmer Cole

Mr. Elmer Cole was born in Roche Percee, Saskatchewan on December 22, 1919. At age 15 he started working and left school with a grade eight education. In 1940 he joined with the South Saskatchewan Regiment taking basic training in Winnipeg and in Feb. 41 he came back to Brandon, Manitoba for mechanical training, switching over to The Calgary Tanks as a trooper on the Churchill tanks. Mr. Cole travelled overseas to England where he was given more training until the summer of ’42 when the Dieppe Raid occurred. Mr. Cole fought through the battle only to surrender with other Canadian soldiers where he became a POW until ’45 when they were set free. After returning to Canada, Mr. Cole worked with the Department of National Defence, then carried on as a mechanic but with the strong desire to always be a wheat farmer, he and his wife bought a farm in Oak bank, Manitoba until he retired at the young age of 54. Mr. Cole and wife Isabel adopted two boys. Now widowed, Mr. Cole spends much of his time playing cards and socializing with residents of his retirement home as well as spending time with his grandchildren. In 2005 Mr. Cole was presented with an Honorary Life Member certificate of the Kiwanis Club in his local community. Presently, at age 97, Mr. Coles continues to enjoy a relaxed and healthy lifestyle.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 29, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Elmer Cole
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Calgary Tanks

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: