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Oil, Water and Blood: A Remembrance Day lecture

In honour of the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid and Remembrance Day, join me as I share my grandfather’s story at Dieppe with Oil, Water and Blood: the Dieppe journal of Doc Alexander a lecture at the Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

At the start of the Dieppe Raid of August 19, 1942, Dr. Laurence Guy Alexander, a Calgary doctor and medical officer for the 14th Canadian Army Tank Battalion – the Calgary Regiment (Calgary Tanks) – waited aboard a tank landing craft for his turn to storm the rocky beach at Dieppe, France.

Oil, Water and Blood: the Dieppe Raid journal of Doc Alexander explores Alexander’s harrowing experience during the raid. It was, he wrote,worse than what he had experienced as a young man serving in the First World War.

“Anything I saw in the whole of the last war – and I saw plenty there – nothing can in the slightest compare with this. A combination of fire from every direction, both sides, in front, behind, above and below, and every conceivable type of weapons pretty well sizes up the situation,” he wrote.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the Canmore Museum.


I’d just like to say “thank you” to those who came out to my presentation at The Military Museums in Calgary Sept. 13. And many thanks to The Military Museums to giving me the opportunity to tell my grandfather’s story at Dieppe on Aug. 19, 1942.

And while I’m at it, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to engage with his story here online. It’s heartening to see the interest in the stories of veterans of the Second World War.

Dieppe Raid memorial trees

On Sunday, August 19 at noon, two trees will be dedicated to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid of 18/19 August 1942 at the Allied Special Forces Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, England. According to the NMA website, the Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove has two memorials dedicated to Canadians who fought during the Second World War, including the Dieppe Raid Memorial Garden, ringed by red sandstone, that includes an October glory tree and hundreds of heathers that represent the Scottish plaid of the Canadian regiments that fought at Dieppe, along with commemorative plaques. A PDF about the Dieppe Raid Memorial Garden can be found here.

The arboretum and the memorial look like a beautiful, peaceful place and a remarkable way to remember our veterans. If you’re ever in Staffordshire, I would say the NMA is a must see!