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Freedom At Last! (1 of 2)

Heroes Remember

Freedom At Last! (1 of 2)

We were in the area of an American Army and they, they sent parties who were ahead of their main bodies, and they did a very good job of whisking us out of the camp, which by the time they were, they got there, conditions in the camp had gone down like that and...not through any fault of the Germans but through the general situation. There was no one picking up the... It was like as if there was a strike. There was no one picking up the refuse or..., and no one delivering the food and all that kind of... and so the Americans dealt with that by sending a lot of trucks and picking us up and taking us to an airfield near Brussels, and then transferring us into aircrafts. And, this was at the end of the war, you see.

Colonel Merritt reflects on the events at the POW camp as the war neared an end.

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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