Photos submitted by Suzanne Bernard.
A note from Suzanne Bernard
Please allow me to congratulate you on the wonderful website you have put together for the South Saskatchewan Regiment.
As always at this time of year, we are remembering our brothers, fathers, uncles, etc. who have fought in the war. Families come together and share stories, reminisce over the loved ones they have lost. Even after all these years, these tales of bravery and the minute of silence never cease to bring tears to our eyes.
In our case, the stories and memories that surround us are those of my grandmother's brother, who fought with the SSR: Jean-Baptiste Le Breton. He lived here, in the small rural community of Allainville but enlisted as a volunteer and somehow joined the SSR at a point when they needed men - particularly bilingual men, from what I've been told.
He landed at Pourville, in the Dieppe raid... I don't know how long he was overseas, but I do know that it wasn't an extremely long time. Not long after his arrival, he was buried in dirt up to his chest at one point, from which he was rescued and survived, but was then wounded - a piece of steel becoming lodged between his ribs (a large wound was visible on his back from this injury) and was then repatriated to his hometown, in Canada.
A note from a former Officer of the SSR:
"...my records show he came to us on 22 July 44, and was wounded on 27 August, which would have been when we were entering Foret de La Londe.
Not listed on Nominal Roll of 19-8-42. [date of the Dieppe Raid]"
Discharge Certificate & Letter Home
Attached is the discharge notice for Jean-Baptiste LeBreton and a letter sent to his mother (Martine (Savoie) LeBreton) upon his arrival in Halifax, when he was discharged.
Here is also a short anecdote from my mother to whom he used to tell this story often when she was young:
Il me disait combien les gens en Europe étaient braves en temps de guerre et à quel point ils étaient content que les soldats alliés soient là pour défendre leur pays. Une fois, sur le champ de bataille, ils étaient tellement épuisés qu'ils se sont couchés une nuit dans un champ de grain. Au matin, une vieille dame qui fauchait son grain avec une fauçille l'a trouvé et mine de rien, lui a fait un petit signe discret de la main en disant: "N'bougez pas! N'bougez pas! Fatigué! Fatigué!" Puis elle lui a fait un sourire tout en continuant son boulot pour que personne ne sache que les soldats étaient là.
He used to tell me how the people in Europe were brave during the war and how happy they were that the allied soldiers were there to defend their country. Once, on the battle field, they were so tired that they laid down one night in a field of grain. Come morning, an old woman who was reaping the grain with a sickle found him and waved at him very discreetly saying soflty "Don't move! Don't move! Tired! Tired!". She then smiled at him and continued on with her work so that no one would know the soldiers were there.