Victoria Cross Recipients

While individual acts of courage occur frequently during war, only a few are seen and recorded. They stand out as examples for all to admire and respect.

Two Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross, the British Commonwealth's highest military decoration for bravery, for their actions during the Raid on Dieppe:

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Following the landing at Pourville, the South Saskatchewan Regiment made their way toward the town of Dieppe. As they struggled to cross the bridge over the River Scie, Lieutenant-Colonel Cecil Merritt came forward and took charge himself. Walking calmly into the storm of fire on the bridge, he led party after party across by the sheer force of his example. Other men forded or swam the river. In spite of their valiant efforts, the advance was halted and they were forced to withdraw. Again, Lt.-Col. Merritt displayed outstanding courage. Although twice wounded, he commanded a vigorous rearguard action that permitted the majority of the units to successfully re-embark. The rearguard itself could not be rescued, and Lt.-Col. Merritt and his men became prisoners of war.

John Weir Foote

The Reverend John W. Foote was the first member of the Canadian Chaplain Services to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Calmly, through eight hours of gruelling battle, Reverend Foote, Chaplain of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, continually exposed himself to very intense fire to help move the injured to an aid post, saving many lives through his brave efforts. Then, at the end of this ordeal, he jumped from the landing craft that would have taken him to safety. He walked courageously into the German positions to be taken prisoner, so he could minister to his fellow Canadians who were now POWs.