The two women who heard a battle nine years late

On August 19, 1942, just before dawn, Canadian and British troops attacked the German-held port of Dieppe in Normandy, in a full-scale rehearsal of D-Day.

Dieppe’s chert beach and cliff immediately following the raid on 19 August 1942. A Dingo Scout Car has been abandoned.

The Allies learnt a lot from this raid, but at a terrible cost. Of a total of 6086 men who landed, 3623 were killed or grievously injured.

Almost nine years later on August 4, 1951, two English women were on a holiday near Dieppe, when they were awakened by the sound of gunpower. What transpired in the next three hours was like listening to a battle that had become trapped in time.

The women had heard an uncannily accurate repetition of the fateful events that had occured nine years prior! The accuracy of their account in comparison to the actual events was confirmed by military records.

The two women were sisters-in-law, and were holidaying in Puys, a seaside village near Dieppe; which had been one of the three landing points for the assault.

The following table compares the women’s description of the events of August 4, 1951, to the official Allied records of the battle that occurred nine years ago.

About 4 AM: The women hear men’s cries “as if above a storm”, with distinct sounds of gunfire and dive-bombing steadily becoming louder.

 

3:47 AM: Allied assault vessels exchanged fire with German ships. Troops manning beach defenses were probably shouting to each other.

 

4:50 AM: Abrupt Silence.

 

4:50 AM: Zero hour for troop landings at Puys, but the operation was running 17 minutes behind schedule and firing may have stopped at this point.

 

5:07 AM: Waves of loud noise-mainly dive bombers-but some faint cries in the background..

 

5:07 AM: Landing craft beached at Puys under heavy fire, then destroyers bombarded Dieppe with shells while aircraft attacked seafront buildings.

 

5:40 AM: Silence again.

 

5:40 AM: Stoppage of naval bombardment.

 

5:50 AM: Sound of aircraft in huge numbers with background noises becoming fainter.

 

5:50 AM: Allied air reinforcements arrived and encountered German aircraft.

 

6:00 AM: All noise died away.

6:25 AM: More cries, gradually becoming fainter.

6:55 AM: Uninterrupted silence.

8:30 AM: Attack repulsed with appalling Allied casualties. Those who survived surrendered.

 

 

No one else in the area heard anything extraordinary. Although the two women had read accounts of the battle, a British Society for Psychical Research investigation in 1952 was satisfied that ‘the experience must be rated as a genuine psychic experience’.

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