Friday, August 22

Happy Birthday, Grams

My dear friend, Carolyn, at Talk to Grams is celebrating her 70th Birthday today. Please stop by and leave her a birthday greeting.

Carolyn, I wish you a wonderful day, a blessed year and many more birthdays to come.

And now my dear friend... a little something to help you celebrate your special day.

Thursday, August 21

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday. It is a day when we list the things we are thankful for. If you would like to participate, be sure to stop by Sting My Heart and pay Iris a visit. You can find all the information there.

Wow! It's Thursday again. It's seems as if this summer has passed by with lightning speed. It's the middle of August already and the weather is cooler and feels more like fall in the evening hours.

Things I am Thankful for this week:

1. Having a long talk on the phone with my niece, Sherry, who is the mother of Evan. He is about 5 months old now and she says he is doing well.

2. For my mother. As each day passes I am more thankful for still having her in my life. She is a keeper.

3. For grandsons and visits to the farm. This week they played on the trampoline and then we took a walk and looked at a lot of different weeds. We saw Scottish thistles, teasels, Queen Anne's Lace, ragweed, wild mustard, golden rod, both red and white clover and more. The boys asked questions on identification and we enjoyed talking about different weeds and their life cycle, how they affect humans and what purpose they have. It was like a mini field trip and we all enjoyed it.

4. For a husband that can lay a subfloor, though he's never done it before. He did a great job.

5. For plumbers that go out of their way to give great customer service and charge a reasonable price. The tub, toilet, sink and vanity are all installed.

6. For lawyers who can set things straight when you have a problem. This man and his brother, who is also a lawyer, have been in my life for about 20 years. They are a family law firm and have been in business 50 years. They are from the old school and certainly know their stuff whether it be litagation, estate or family law.

7. For cooler weather and a break in the record rainfall we've had this spring and summer. It's nice to see the sun shining.

8. For the neccessities of life, as in clothing, food and water. Many in third world countries aren't so lucky.

9. For friends in the real world and online who are always there to give a word of encouragement.

10. For the opportunity to meet Pea from Pea's Corner . Pea and her friend are going to be in southern Ontario and we plan to meet on Sunday. Both of us are very excited about meeting. It is going to be FUN and we plan on taking lots of photos.

I hope that you have been blessed with many things to be thankful for this week. Remember to give a helping hand to someone who is less fortunate. Even a smile can make someone's day.
~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, August 19

Operation Jubilee - The Raid on Dieppe

Today, August 19, 2008 is the 66th Anniversary of the Raid on Dieppe. This is a tribute to the men who landed there, including my Uncle Bill.

In the spring of 1942, the situation with the Allied Forces in Europe was desperate. The British Eighth Army had been forced out of North Africa into Egypt. The Allies faced the Germans in Western Europe across the English Channel.

The full-scale invasion of Western Europe, Operation Overload, could not be launched at that time. The Allies decided something must be done if they were to push back Hitler’s army. A major raid was planned on the port of Dieppe, France.

Originally, the full-scale raid, Operation Rutter, was to take place in July 1942. Canadian troops would provide the main assault force. By May 20, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division was stationed at the Isle of Wright. Here, they would undergo intense amphibious operational training.

July arrived. Unfavorable weather conditions prohibited Operation Rutter to be launched as planned. There was talk of abandoning the raid. Then, the Canadians received orders that the raid was to take place. At this time, the name was changed to Operation Jubilee.

On August 19, 1942, sixty-one hundred troops stormed the beaches of Dieppe. Seventy-four Allied air squadrons (8 belonged to the Royal Canadian Forces) and 8 Allied destroyers supported the assault. The Front consisted of 16 kilometers of beach. There were five different attack points. Four flank attacks were to hit simultaneously at dawn. The main attack on the town of Dieppe was to take place a half-hour later.

Canadians were to engage in the main frontal attack, as well as go in at gaps in the cliffs at Pourville, which was four kilometers to the west. They also hit at Puys to the east. At Berneval on the eastern flank and Varengeville to the west, British Commandos were to destroy the German’s coastal batteries.

In the early pre-dawn hours of August 19, the men in a landing craft on the eastern sector happened upon a small German convoy. A sea fight followed. The noise of the skirmish alerted the German coastal defenses at Puys and Berneval. There was little chance of success in the eastern sector.

The crafts carrying men from No. 3 Commando became scattered. Most of this unit never reached shore. Those who did were quickly beaten back. However, one unit of 20 men got within firing range of the battery. Snipers were able to stage an assault, which prevented the Germans from firing on the ships offshore. After two and half-hours, the men were safely evacuated.

The Royal Regiment of Canada suffered a similar fate at Puys. There was little beach there and cliffs towered above it. Upon these cliffs perched German soldiers. The success of the mission depended on surprise before first light. The naval landing was delayed. As the Canadians leapt to shore from their rafts, German soldiers fired upon them. Few were able to get over the barbed wire on the beachhead. Those who did could not get back to their unit.

Along with these troops, three platoons of reinforcements from the Black Watch of Canada (the Royal Highland Regiment) were trapped on the beach by machine gun and mortar fire. They surrendered later in the day. Two hundred men died at Puy. Twenty died later from wounds they had sustained. The remainder were captured. This was the heaviest casualty count suffered by any Canadian battalion in one day during WWII.

Some degree of surprise was achieved in the western sector. No.4 Commando’s operation was a success. The unit was able to destroy the German battalion near Varengeville. They withdrew safely. Initial opposition was light for the South Saskatchewan Regiment and Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada when they assaulted at Pourville. As they crossed the River Scie, opposition became more intense. Heavy fighting stopped the Saskatchewan and their reinforcements, the Commandos, outside of the town.

Meanwhile, the main force of the Commandos pushed ahead toward an inland airfield. They were stopped three kilometers from their target. The Canadian losses were heavy during the withdrawal. The Germans fired heavily upon the beach from both east and west. The Canadian landing craft made it through the fire, supported by brave men that made up the rearguard. Many sacrificed all on that beach. When ammunition ran out, the rearguard surrendered. At that time, further evacuation was impossible.

The main raid was made on the pebble beach at the town of Dieppe a half-hour after the attack on the flanks. German’s were hidden in buildings that overlooked the promenade. Others were concealed in the towering cliffs. As the men of the Essex Scottish Regiment leapt to shore, the enemy assaulted with heavy machine gun fire. Men dropped like flies and were unable to penetrate the seawall. Only one small party infiltrated the town. Because of a misleading message to the headquarters ship, it was believed the forces had penetrated enemy lines. The Les Fusiliers Mont Royal Battalion was sent in. They immediately found themselves trapped by heavy fire. The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, a unit which included my Uncle Bill, landed at the west end of the promenade. Here, they took an isolated casino and nearby pillboxes. Some men were able to make it across the boulevard under intense fire. They engaged in heavy street combat. Uncle Bill was wounded in this struggle. His buddy died in his arms.

The landing of the military tanks by the Calgary Regiment was a disaster. Their plans were to follow the air and naval bombardment. The timing was off. They went ashore fifteen minutes late, leaving the infantry without much needed support. When they finally reached shore, a seawall and enemy fire stopped them. Those that were able to infiltrate the seawall found the narrow streets of Dieppe blocked by concrete. A fierce battle ensued. The Canadians were ordered to withdraw about 11am. By 1pm, the battle was almost over.

Operation Jubilee had a dramatic end. Allied Forces suffered a great loss. Over 2,000 men were taken prisoner; 1600 were wounded; 1,380 were dead; 913 of the dead were Canadian.
Sixty years have passed since Canadian Forces landed at Dieppe. May we never forget the 6,100 who landed there. Over 5,000 were Canadian. The remainder was British with the exception of 50 American Rangers.

Why was Dieppe a failure? There were many reasons. The sea battle off Berneval alerted the German Forces to the impending raid. The British commanders underestimated their enemy and there was a lack of air and sea support before the beachhead landing. Other factors were lack of information and inadequate equipment.

The failure of Operation Jubilee had nothing to do with lack of skill or bravery. The men who landed there fought with determination and skill. They paid a great sacrifice.

Two years after the landing at Dieppe, Canadian Forces landed on Juno on June 6, 1944. They also participated in the Battle of Normandy. On September 1, 1944 the Canadians struck Dieppe once again. The men of the 2nd Canadian Division were successful in their quest. On that day they liberated Dieppe.

It is my hope that Canadians always remember the brave men who landed at Dieppe that August day so many years ago. Many gave the ultimate sacrifice. Many others, like Uncle Bill, lived with the memory of that day for the rest of their lives. May we also remember all allied veterans who sacrificed so much, not only at Dieppe but at every battle and skirmish during WWII. I salute each and every one of them. Without them, the world would have been a much different place to live.

Monday, August 18

A Bit of News

Well, I was going to post photos, but blogger isn't cooperating so I will bring you up to date on the renovations.

The plumber was here last week and ran into a couple of problems so he had to come back today. He arrived at 9 am and began working immediately. Around 4 pm, he said he thought he would have to come back on Wednesday to finish the job, but then decided to finish. So now we have a bathroom that looks like a bathroom. All we have to do is finish building in the tub, put up the surround and replace a couple pieces of wallboard that he had to take off.

The plumbing upstairs is now all vented, the tub, toilet, vanity and sink are in place and things are going forward.

Our helper didn't show up today and I had business to attend to with my mother, so no painting got done, but soon it will all be behind us. We're hoping to finish by the first week in September but we're not going to kill ourselves. The work will be there waiting for us until we finally put on the finishing touches.

Take care and have a great week. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, August 17

Happy 11th Birthday, Jordan and Green Thumb Sunday

Happy 11th Birthday, Jordan. I wish you lots of fun, some great gifts and much happiness for the coming year. Love, Grandma Mary

Jordan is 11 today. I can't put photos of his birthday party up, as his party isn't until the 23rd. His parents had planned to take the boys to see their aunt in northern Ontario, but that plan feel through. I will post photos of the birthday boy after the party.

A week or so ago, I mentioned that I had the side garden taken care of. I weeded it and put down mulch. Then I asked hubby to bring our water feature up from the basement. What we did was buy a ceramic planter and added the bamboo water spigot and the pump to it. I wish we didn't have to have the drain spout there, but we have no option. It is kind of an eyesore, but I do like the sound of trickling water, so will put up with it. This area looks so much better than it did before we dug up the grass and made the garden a couple of years ago.
Here is another view. I have both of my angels, some solar lights and a couple of garden ornaments that the boys picked out. The angel to the left was given to me by a neighbor. She didn't want it any longer and I was glad to give her a home.
I'm quite pleased with this garden that is right along our side steps. It makes the area look so much more inviting.
Have a great Sunday. ~Blessings, Mary~