The Memorial Museum
The museum is located on the « Place Camille St Saens » near the beachfront, adjacent to the back of the Mercure hotel. It is housed in the Municipal Theater, a building of Italian styled architecture, erected in 1826 and classified as a historic edifice in 1993. After an eventful past, and much remodeling of the façade, the theater finally closed its doors in 1960.
At the end of 2001, Mr Pierre Hamel, vice-mayor at the time, initiated a meeting between various associations and interest groups who were dedicated to keeping alive the memory of what happened here on August 19th, 1942. Their goal was to find a place to house the collected memorabilia. The un-occupied municipal theater was chosen. After much discussion, the other groups decided not to join up, and it was the Jubilee association which assumed the task of overseeing the installation of the museum.
An inauguration took place June 2002 during the lead up to the 60th anniversary of the Allied Raid, with an open house visit. The citizens of Dieppe were thus reintroduced to their former Theater and many visited it for the very first time.
Today many different nationalities visit each year, and thanks to the documents, memorabilia, scale models, uniforms, and films on display, gain an understanding of this forceful raid involving 6000 Allied soldiers, some 5000 of whom were canadians, and who unfortunately, suffered heavy losses.
In the entrance hall one section of the space is used to give homage to the dead and missing Allied soldiers, using a hexagonal column bearing their names. Another space in the entrance area is used for the shop, which sells postcards and books.
The theater classed as historic monument, necessitated careful planning and restoration. Some walls needed reinforcing in order to house the ten modular displays containing photographs and documents. Beneath the balcony boxes, now closed off to public access, showcases containing models and arms from the various regiments which took part in the Raid are on display. On the stage hangs a series of portraits of veterans.