65 years later - Victory in Europe Day

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War. It’s hard to imagine the reality of total war to my generation; we’ve thankfully never experienced war.

The Hamilton Spectator published a special section today, which is not available behind the subscriber firewall – yes, I use my grandmother’s subscription to read the paper for free -, meaning that I’m on my way to purchase a print edition.

There is an online video to mark the occasion: http://www.thespec.com/videogallery/763863

The Second World War hit Hamilton hard. Many young men from Hamilton died on the beaches of Dieppe in 1942 when the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry landed on that god-forsaken beach during Canada’s bloody day of the war.

The only city that may have – arguably – suffered more tragedy during the war was Winnipeg. The city had infantry regiments at both of Canada’s bloodiest stands against the Axis powers. The Winnipeg Grenadiers fought gallantly – in vain – at the Battle of Hong Kong and the Royal Winnipeg Rifles at Dieppe.

Both battles must be remembered.

The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry lost 197 men that day, their names are listed on the RHLI website: http://www.rhli.ca/dieppe/dieppekia.html

Eight months ago, a former member of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment penned a moving piece in the Chatham Daily News regarding the Dieppe Raid. Larry King’s writing, while of a younger generation than the men who served, reflects the continuing Canadian struggle to understand the raid. His piece is well worth reading: Operation Jubilee –the Dieppe raid — was a valuable disaster The Essex and Kent landed

The Canadian War Museum’s page “Life on the Homefront: Hamilton, Ontario, a City at War” offers newspaper clippings from WWII editions of The Hamilton Spectator.