Sometimes I even had to wear a German uniform so that I wouldn’t be spotted

 Jean Warren was born in Pointe-au-Pic in 1914. He was accepted into the Canadian Army as a pilot in June 1942 but then during the night of 18th to 19th November 1943, his aircraft was shot down by German fighters. Even though he was all alone in his aircraft, he managed to land in Germany. He was taken prisoner but he managed to escape on three occasions, taking huge risks to do so each time. Here he is talking about some of his experiences:  “Getting to Holland was just one long series of misadventures. You really had to want to get away. We were risking everything, but we had everything to gain… After all sorts of difficulties, I managed to jump on board a train which was taking rolls of paper to Holland. I headed northwards until we managed to get in touch with a member of the Maquis. By that time I’d got as far as Borns. I crossed Holland on foot. I stayed in Borns for 5 weeks. Then I headed towards Nijverdal. Sometimes I even had to wear a German uniform so that I wouldn’t be spotted. In early August 1944, I went to Deveter in Holland. When I got there I managed to get onto a boat where I hid for three weeks. I don’t need to remind you that the Germans were constantly patrolling the area for the whole of this time. But I managed to evade the tight surveillance by the German military police. We stayed in Corsell for eight weeks.” On 1st February 1945, at long last Jean Warren managed to escape from Osedorg camp in Germany along with 93 of his companions. A Dutch citizen called Miss Hans Dersken helped him to escape and cross the Rhine. On 6th May 1945, Jean Warren received the British Empire Medal. He later returned to the Charlevoix region and received an enthusiastic welcome at Pointe-au-Pic station on 20th July 1945. Jean Warren returned to Europe in 1975 and spent 25 days visiting the Netherlands. He found himself back in the same places he’d stayed in 30 years earlier. Amongst other people he was reunited with Miss Hans Dersken who had helped him to escape. Mr Jean Warren died in 1987. Here are the names of other Second World War soldiers from Charlevoix who went overseas: Jacques Jean, Clermont; Benoît Hudon, Clermont; Florent Fournier, Clermont; Jean-Philippe Bergeron, La Malbaie; Antoine Tremblay, La Malbaie; Jean-Louis Goupil, Clermont; Robert Savard, La Malbaie; Raymond Bhérer, La Malbaie

Jean Warren’s full story appears in the following book:
Léo Simard. “La petite histoire de Charlevoix”
(Charlevoix Anecdotes).
La Malbaie, s.é. 1987: 109-118.

Extracts selected by
Serge Gauthier and Christian Harvey
from Charlevoix Historical Society

Photo: July 7th, 2005
Casino de Charlevoix, La Malbaie