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Prologue

The four men were an incongruous sampling of British Columbia's youth: dissimilar in appearance, ability and background. The declaration of war in 1939 had haphazard1y pitched them into the same army training camp and thereafter they remained together.

They looked one another over, and each found in the others some qualities he felt were lacking in himself The fumbling, mechanical slowness of army training exaggerated their deficiencies, and because of this, each man, fearful that he would reveal himself a coward during the height of battle, entered into an alliance with the others.

And so it came about that when they dropped into the water on the morning of August 19, 1942 and began their journey towards the Dieppe beach and promenade on which the bourgeoisie of Normandy had once exhibited their financial glory, the four young men no longer thought of themselves as individuals, but instead had come to look upon themselves as contributing parts of a collective, invincible organism.

Their names were Ron Josephson, Andrew Haig, Tommy Peters and Patrice Buckley. What follows ís an account of their walk along the path to courage.