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Freedom At Last! (2 of 2)

Heroes Remember

Freedom At Last! (2 of 2)

Interviewer: When you were liberated the Allies hadn't taken, or...No, the war wasn't over. Interviewer: The war wasn't over, OK But the war was over in this particular area. Interviewer: Yes, OK. Because the Germans were withdrawing and actually...and then the Americans were coming forward you see. And they overran us you see. And that's what liberated us. Interviewer: Well tell me, what was the reaction among the prisoners of war when they realized that the war was over? We were very happy. Interviewer: Was there celebrations or was there any attempt to reek revenge on anybody? Oh no. The Germans, the Germans behaved generally properly. There were incidents but their general attitude was, you could, all you had to do was charge them with breaking the Geneva convention for prisoners and you...they were very skittish. If anyone made that charge they would either quit what they were doing or justify it.

Colonel Merritt continues his account of the liberation of the prison camp by American forces.

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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