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Across the English Channel

Heroes Remember

Across the English Channel

Oh it went perfectly smoothly til just at the end, there was an accidental collision, not collision but meeting of German E-boats and our landing craft, and it didn't stop us landing but it did alert the German's Interviewer: How much before the estimated landing time was it? I couldn't tell you. Interviewer: If you had to estimate would you say that it was minutes or even an hour before? Could have been an hour before. Very late. Interviewer: So in your view is it likely that the E-boat captain radioed the alarm? YES Interviewer: Was there any discussion among the senior officers to abort? no. At least, I don't know because I wasn't consulted...I wasn't in the planning. But we were discovered so late before our landing time that in fact we got ashore without being fired on, but on the main beach that wasn't the case. Interviewer: On your beach, Green Beach, where the South Saskatchewan Regiment landed, you believe that a surprise was achieved? I know surprise was achieved.

Colonel Merritt speaks of the flotilla’s crossing of the English Channel to France and the unexpected encounter with German E Boats.

Charles Cecil Ingersol Merritt

Colonel Merritt’s father was killed in Ypres during the First World War. 7 or 8 of his uncles from both sides of the family also served during the First World War - three of whom were killed in action. He received his early education in Vancouver and Victoria and then went on to Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He articled with a Vancouver lawyer for three years before being called to the bar there in 1929. During this time, he joined the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada militia unit - the unit with whom he enlisted with when the Second World War was declared. Eventually, in late 1941, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the South Saskatchewan Regiment, and served with the Regiment until the war was over. During his service he earned the Victoria Cross for his gallant efforts on Aug. 19, 1942 in the Dieppe Raid. Mr. Merritt was taken prisoner during the Dieppe Raid. Following the war Mr. Merritt returned to his law practice in Vancouver and served in the Canadian Federal Parliament from 1945 - 1949. He continued to live in Vancouver until his death on July 12, 2000.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Charles Cecil Ingersol Merritt
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
South Saskatchewan Regiment
Company Commander

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