N.B. veterans win battle over ‘Battle of Dieppe’ commemorative coin
A group of New Brunswick veterans have won an unusual battle with the Royal Canadian Mint.
The two groups clashed over a newly released commemorative coin that veterans say is 'historically incorrect.'
The coin, unveiled by the Royal Canadian Mint in May, commemorates the Battle of Dieppe.
“That was a shocker, because we've never thought of it as a battle,” says Dieppe Military Veterans’ Association director Keith Brewer. “It's always been the Dieppe Raid.”
The perceived error offended veterans in Canada as well as in France.
“It's worth the fight to get this right, because we are the guardians of the Dieppe Raid,” says Dieppe Military Veterans’ Association president Nils Liljemark. “A battle is fighting to defend territory or gain territory. A raid means you're going in to either learn information, or check out defenses, and get right back out of there. You're not there to protect, or get, land.”
At the time of its release, the Mint stood by the wording, but has now relented, saying a new coin will be cast. It will be unveiled in Dieppe, rather than Moncton.
While the original coin won't be recalled, the Dieppe Military Veterans’ Association will have input on the design of the new coin.
The Mint is apologizing for any offense. In a statement they say: "We fully understand the concerns expressed by the association and we admire their efforts to preserve the memory of the Canadian troops who participated in the Dieppe Raid.”
Veterans say they feel vindicated by the decision and accept the apology, adding a proper commemorative coin will ensure the losses in war are never forgotten.
“It's important that we maintain that, even with schoolchildren, because we don't want them to grow up and make the same mistakes we made,” says Brewer.
The veterans hope the new coin will be released by August 2018, in time for the anniversary of the Raid on Dieppe.
With files from CTV Alantic’s Cami Kepke.