Villagers at Wisborough Green will once again play host to a very special annual act of remembrance on Sunday, when they commemorate the bravery of all those who took part in the Dieppe Raid of 1942.
The service at St Peter Ad Vincula parish church, which this year takes place on August 5, has become a feature of village life since the end of the Second World War and, according to churchwarden Helen Vause, ‘it makes us feel something akin to the Wootton Basset of Sussex’.
The service this year will be particularly poignant as it represents the 70th anniversary of the raid and, as well as veterans, the Canadian High Commission and the Canadian Veterans Association, representatives of the Armed Services from Canada, the UK and the United States, cadets and youth organisations, the Royal British Legion and the parish council will attend and lay wreaths.
Wisborough Green was anything but quiet during the second world war as it played host to the 2nd Canadian Division, 1st Canadian Army, whose Command Headquarters was at nearby Hawkhurst Court.
On August 19, 1942, nearly 5,000 men and officers from the division, alongside 1,000 British Commandos and 50 US Rangers landed in and around Dieppe on ‘Operation Jubilee’. The raid was spearheaded by Churchill’s new Chief of Combined Operations, Louis Mountbatten.
This year’s service will start at 10.30am and will be followed by the Act of Remembrance and wreath-laying at the War Memorial on the village green at 11am, which will include a fly-past by a member of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.