Burlington Veteran Douglas Ross Rickard marks 104th Birthday


By Staff

June 28th, 2022



Believed to be the last Canadian survivor of the Dieppe Raid during the Second World War, Douglas Ross Rickard. celebrated his 104th birthday recently. 

His wife, Jean, celebrates her 100th birthday on July 11.  The couple celebrated their 78th wedding anniversary June 24th.

Douglas Ross Rickard  celebrating his 104th birthday at the Legion.

These three special dates were recognized recently during a special ceremony at Branch 60 which included the Rickards’ daughter Marie, remarks by Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and a surprise performance by Frank Sinatra tribute artist Dan Lauzon, a Canadian military veteran and a Vice President of Branch 60.


The Dieppe raid was one of the darkest chapter’s in Canada’s military history but it was also marked by great courage and helped lead to important lessons being learned to prepare for the D-Day invasion of 1944.


Mr. Rickard, (pronounced “rih-KARD”) was a member of the Royal Canadian Corp of Signals.  He arrived at Dieppe in the early morning of August 19th, 1942 aboard a tank landing craft (TLC) containing three tanks.  He was knocked unconscious by a shell blast but was revived by an officer and continued to receive and transmit messages until further damage to the vessel disabled an engine and forced the crew to retreat.   With only one propeller working, they slowly tried to return to Britain. 

They were set upon by enemy fighters off the coast of England, and to avoid injury Corporal Rickard jumped overboard.  He was able to remove his heavy boots and swam over a kilometer back to an English beach and safety.


Corporal Rickard continued to serve the remainder of the war in a variety of roles, returning to Canada in early 1946 with his British war bride, Jean.  Already an accomplished artist, he continued his painting and held art director positions with several major publications.  Before retirement, he established several Canadian companies which exported Canadian photographic equipment and art supplies around the world.


A YouTube video of the recent Legion ceremony is available at https://youtu.be/6gN6r732IBA.  Plus, a YouTube video of Mr. Rickard recalling his experience at Dieppe is available at https://youtu.be/dp-3_jDXUF4



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1 comment to Burlington Veteran Douglas Ross Rickard marks 104th Birthday

  • Mozelle Cole

    What a great story. God bless Mr. Rickard for his service, to which we are grateful .