Normal textarea FCKEditor TinyMCE CodePress File: /htdocs/index.html Status: This file has not yet been saved 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry


This page details the events, memories and articles that commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 51st Highland Division's reluctant surrender in St. Valery-en-Caux, Normandy to General Rommel on 12 June 1940.

The events that led to the capture of the 51st Highland Division in St. Valery-en-Caux in Normandy occurred more than 70 years ago. Whilst the rest of the BEF were escaping from Dunkirk in early June, the 51st HD was fighting its way from the Somme down the west coast of France, until General Fortune had no option but to order the Division to congregate around the area of St. Valery-en-Caux, where the Germans surrounded the Division. Severe losses were suffered, and the rest of the Division - approximately 10,000 men - were taken as prisoner of war. The Highlands of Scotland were devastated by the loss of so many of their young men.

This year, those remaining veterans who are able will gather in St. Valery to commemorate the loss of their comrades and the start of their 5 years in captivity.

Trooper Arthur Tyson (89) of 'B' Squadron was to have represented the Lothians in France; unfortunately ill health prevented this.
The Lothians will be represented by family members of Major Harry Younger, Major Jimmy Dallmeyer, 2/Lt Binks Inch, Captain Jo Hume, SSM Ted Lawrence, Trooper Baillie, Trooper Mair, Lance Corporal Lewis, Trooper Tyson and family representatives of Lance Sergeant Charlie Foley and Major Sandy Usher.

1. List of events
2. Friday 11 June 2010 (events)
3. Saturday 12 June 2010 (events)
4. Sunday 13 June 2010 (events)
5. Meet the veterans
6. Newspaper articles

1. List of events

Mr. Raphaël Distante of St. Valery-en-Caux published a list of events to all those who showed an interest in attending the weekend. The programme was published on this website prior to the events taking place.

The list of events was as follows:

Friday 11 June 2010
10:30 La Maison Henri Quatre
14:00 Angiens
15:30 Houdetot
18:00 Highland Division Memorial

Saturday 12June 2010
09:00 St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British cemetery
15:30 Veules-les-Roses
17:30 Manneville-ès-Plains
18:15 Angus Hay lecture on 51st Highland Division
21:00 Dinner in the Municipal Hall

Sunday 13 June 2010
09:00 Ermouneville
11:30 St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British cemetery
13:00 Lunch in the Municipal Hall

2. Friday 11 June 2010 (events)

1. La maison Henri Quatre
2. Angiens ceremony
3. Houdetot ceremony
4. 51st Highland Division Monument ceremony
5. Lothians dinner with the veterans

La maison Henri Quatre (the museum at St. Valery-en-Caux)

The group was invited to attend a brief introduction of the museum at 10:30. The museum describes what St.Valery-en-Caux looked like before the bombing and afterwards as well as other events around the time, such as Camp Lucky Strike. The running slide show is in French but can be followed easily enough by non-French speakers.

The museum manager welcomed the group to the museum (in French, with translation kindly provided by Angus Hay) and invited everyone to look around.

The group of veterans and families at La Maison Henri Quatre

Included in the photograph are Andrew Cheyne (Signals Corps) in a wheelchair; behind him are John Borland (Black Watch) and Frank Madle (Norfolks) and further over is Bill Crighton (Signals).


The group attended a ceremony in the village of Angiens at 14:00. The group gathered at the seafront at St. Valery-en-Caux and were led in convoy by Raphael Distante to Angiens, in the church cemetery of which lie the bodies of 17 51st Highland Division soldiers from (inter alia) the Gordons, the Black Watch, the Northumberland Fusiliers and the RASC as well as those known only unto God. The Aberdeen OTC pipe band played the veterans in and wreaths were laid following a brief statement and prayer by the Rev. Major Iain Stewart Jenkins. Each soldier was named and honoured.

The French representative stated: "It is important that they [the 17 men in the cemetery] have given life for freedom, liberty, democracy and for the human rights."

The padre stated: "We would like to thank all of you for your presence with us this afternoon to remember the Scots who died in this corner of Normandy."

The St. Valery pilgrims at Angiens

The church at Angiens

The vin d'honneur at Angiens

The group were invited to partake of a vin d'honneur in the mairie, where drink and snacks were served and all had a chance to chat with the veterans.

Andrew Cheyne at Angiens with the Norfolk cadets in the background


The group then moved in convoy to the village of Houdetot where there was a ceremony at 15:30 and "un Vin d'Honneur". The church cemetery includes the graves of primarily Black Watch and one Northumberland Fusilier. Once again, there was a brief statement and prayer by the Rev. Major Iain Stewart Jenkins before the group moved to the hall for a vin d'honneur.

The church at Houdetot

The memorial at Houdetot

The memorial stone at Houdetot

In addition, a French veteran of a division of the Alpine Hunters described the events that day, translated by the Rev. Major Iain Stewart Jenkins. "The troops were low on ammunition and had only rifles and 2 machine-guns but lots of hand grenades. They kept Rommel with all his tanks at bay for 22 hours. At the end, they retired to St. Valery and were made prisoner of war. About 19 Black Watch were killed here at Houdetot and a lot of the French Alpine Hunters were looked after by families in the area. We think about 80 to 90 of Rommel's troops were killed, but we cannot be sure because the bodies were taken away by German lorries full of bodies. The sacrifice of the men - the Scots and the French - enabled the boats to be refuelled and back to Britain. They gave their lives for our liberty."

Both French and Scots songs were sung, including Amazing Grace on the pipes.

51st (Highland Division) Monument in St Valery-en-Caux

The group attended a ceremony at the 51st (Highland Division) Monument overlooking the harbour of St. Valery-en-Caux. The Aberdeen OTC pipe band appeared over the rise and piped their way to the monument. The Rev. Major Iain Stewart Jenkins led a brief service and prayer and the veterans laid wreaths. Mrs Linda Sidebottom laid a wheatsheaf combined with flowers on behalf of her father, Arthur Tyson, who was unable to make the ceremony, and the rest of the 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry.

Aberdeen OTC pipe band

Aberdeen OTC pipers

Lothians Dinner

The Lothians representatives joined some of the veterans in a dinner at the restaurant of Auberge de l'Etang - Manneville ès Plains. It was a magnificent feast of salmon starter followed by apple sorbet with calvados, fish, beef or chiken followed by goat's cheese or a cheeseboard and pudding. It gave all the Lothians a further chance to chat to each other and the veterans who felt able to attend the dinner.

3. Saturday 12 June 2010 (events)

The group attended a ceremony at the Franco-British cemetery in St. Valery-en-Caux at 09:00. As shown on STV's six o' clock news on Monday 14 June 2010, the Aberdeen OTC pipe band led the way with the French band, the dignitaries, the veterans, their friends and family and the public. The veterans were not, on this occasion, allowed to lay wreaths although the mayor of St. Valery and other dignitaries took part in wreath-laying. The mayor's speech was translated into English and will be included on this website. The Lord Provost of Inverness, Jimmy Gray, gave a succinct statement, which will also be included on this website in due course.

Speech by the St Valery mayor on Saturday 12 June 2010

On May 8th we paid tribute to all the allied and French soldiers who, during the Second World War, died for France to get its identity, dignity and independence back.

Today, we're honouring the free men who bravely fought during the battle of France and more precisely on 10th, 11th, 12th June 1940 in St Valery en Caux. They lost their lives fighting against that invader who had forced Great Britain and France (after defence agreements) to declare war on Germany.

From 3rd September 1939 to the spring of 1940, during the phoney war, each nation armed themselves and set their troops in fight position.

France strengthened the Maginot Line and deployed troops along the Belgian border.

The United Kingdom sent in the expeditionary force consisting of 13 infantry divisions.

On May 10th 1940 the enemy launched Fall Gelb and through a clever stratagem managed to thwart the wrong strategy of the French General staff. By relying on the speed and shock effect and mostly by resorting to the combination of tanks and planes with radio communication as well as by concentrating their troops the enemy succeeded in crossing in two days the Ardennes massif which was thought to be impenetrable, despite a strong resistance.

The allied and French forces resisted but were pushed back and encircled around Dunkirk.

From 25th May to 3rd June 500 000 men, that is to say almost the whole of the British Expeditionary Force (or corps) and one third of the French army were waiting on the sea-front to embark (to be rescued). Then began the evacuation, called the 'Dynamo operation' approved by Churchill. It was directed from Dover by Vice-admiral Ramsay.

Admiral Abrial commanded all the French troops, Rear-Admiral Platon conducting the proceedings from Dunkirk. The Royal Navy possessed 41 destroyers. Then, in Dover, Ramsay gathered a fleet of 800 ships, canal-boats, cargo-boats, ferry-boats, trawlers and coasters.

In the meantime, the French navy mobilized 300 warships, fishing boats, merchant ships. Within 10 days, 365 000 fighters were safely brought back to Dover, among whom 125 000 were French, 16 000 were Belgian and Dutch. 4000 reached Cherbourg and Le Havre (48 000 were rescued by the French navy).

About this feat Churchill said: "During those crucial days, the French controlled seven enemy divisions. Thus they shared in saving their comrades and the expeditionary force. Britain would not have been able to go on fighting without them."

The death toll was heavy and the loss of war equipment too on the allied camp with over 11 000 deaths and over 90 000 prisoners. During that time many French units showed fierce and heroic opposition.

On June 1st forces were displayed to build up the Western front called 'the Wegland line' in the Somme and Aisne areas.

On 5th June 1940, the enemy, with its 138 divisions launched Fall Rot . Just below the ninth army corps of General Ihler was placed in position. And so were the 2nd light Cavalry division of General Berniquet, the third light Cavalry Division of General Petiet, the 13th infantry division of General Beaudoin, the 31st Alpine division of General Vauthier, the 5th division of General Sechet which was to lose 80% of its troops between Jun 5th and 7th, the 51st Highland Division of General Fortune, the 2nd motorized battalion, the 312th artillery regiment. To back them up there were the 40th Infantry Division of General Durent, the 5th light Cavalry division of General Chanoine, the second reserved armoured division of Colonel Pierre, the 1st armoured division of General Ewans, which accounted for 100 tanks, 120 smaller ones and 70 armoured vehicles.

To oppose this force, the enemy possessed 3 infantry divisions, 2 armoured divisions and one motorized infantry division which accounted for no less than 500 tanks.

It was the 16th Infantry Division which would face direct fire from the 9th and 10th Panzer divisions with the help of the 24th Infantry Division and of the 12th tank battalion, resisting till 9th June.

The 7th Panzer division of Rommel suffered serious losses due to the 52nd and 72nd artillery regiments, assisted by the 3rd light Cavalry regiment which was responsible for the destruction of 32 armoured tanks with the 12 remaining guns.

The counter attack of Lieutenant Colonel De Langlade, with one of its half-companies which consisted of 4 Somua S35, destroyed 15 panzers on its own.

On June 6th, the enemy attacks resumed strongly and on 7th June the order given to change the line of resistance.

Rommel forgot about the little areas of opposition and headed straight into Rouen, along the Seine River to move up to the North. The encircling of the 9th French army corps began. On 9th June as the enemy got into Rouen the 9th army corps and the 51st Highland Division proceeded to a gradual withdrawal towards Le Havre. For these troops the fall of Rouen was a disaster and the hopes of evacuation via Le Havre were dashed.

The British division, exceptionally, consisted of 4 Infantry brigades instead of 3, traditionally. These brigades were the 152nd, 153rd, 154th and brigade A. They left the Envermeu/Belleville line, but 2 companies did not receive the order to move back and they fought till June 13th, a long time after the fall of St Valery. These units formed Company D (4th Border regiment) and Company A (1st and 5th Sherwood Forester).

General Fortune sent a message to the war office in which he made his goal clearer: "We're heading to Le Havre, the 51st Highland Division is progressing along the coast. My speed is about 20 kms a day; it is essential that the airforce should delay the enemy advances. A naval reinforcement would have the best effect on morale. If the enemy breaks though the front they will cut our way to Le Havre. I will then try to defend one of the ports on the Northern coast hoping to evacuate as many men as possible from there. I'm sending a rear-guard to back up the Fècamp/Lillebonne line."

This rear-guard which had the order to board immediately at Le Havre (in case the front line broke) consisted of the 154th brigade and brigade A to which were added 2 French battalions formed in Arques La Bataille under the command of General Clarke. This rear-guard named Arkforce left for Le Havre in the night of the 9th to the 10th of June. As it left the Eavy forest and, in a clever way, Arkforce avoided the trap set by the enemy and reached the Seine estuary without difficulties.

This wasn't the case of the 31st French infantry division, the first part of which was attacked by Panzers around Cany Barville.

On 10th June, the 51st Highland Division moved back to Bethune. Rommel was then in Barentin, where he ordered his reconnoitring group to dash to Veulettes and the 25th Panzer Regiment to head to Yvetôt. During that day, the 4th Seaforths and the 1st Black Watch were involved in heavy fighting in Arques and Martigny.

On the same day, in Cany, and English radio transmitter vehicle in charge of making a link between the Arkforce and the 51st Highland Division was captured. The operator had just enough time to send a message to General Fortune who understood that the enemy was holding Cany and Veulettes.

As for Rommel, he arrived at the Petite Dalles.

To strengthen his plans for control the leader of the 7th Panzer Division took possession of the harbour and town of Fècamp in the face of courageous defence. In that way, St Valery was the only evacuating place left. In the night of 10th June to 11th, the 51st Highland Division received the order to withdraw in St Valery. In the meantime, General Fortune sent a message to the War Office. "May I be certain that if I can't reach Le Havre with my division you'll be able to evacuate my soldiers. I've got food left for only two days."

The day before, the two light Cavalry Divisions fought in Tôtes and Bellencombre.

On 11th June, they met near Fontaine Le Dun and Veules les Roses. The 31st and 4th Infantry Divisions were in possession of Gueutteville and Blosseville between Veules and St Valery.

A defence area was set around our town to include the Eastern and Western cliffs. On 11th June, to protect the area, General Ihler decided upon the outline of the defence line. It would include: Blosseville, Silleron, Angiens, Houdetot, Ermenouville, Saint-Colombe and Veulettes.

Under the orders of Lieutenant colonel De Reboul, the units in charge of ensuring the defence lacked time, strength, food and, above all, anti tank devices. However low the spirits could have been, the soldiers did not lack bravery and they fought without any other hope than that of finding the promised boats.

Rommel left Veulettes at noon. 7 km away from the harbour, the allied artillery fired and blocked the 7th Panzer. That marked the beginning of the attack. At Tôt, the 2nd Seaforths fought with courage against this advance, the resistance was so strong and so tough that there was hand-to-hand fighting, but as there were no anti tank guns the Panzers managed to get through and to reach St Sylvain, then the downstream cliffs.

From the top of that cliff the enemy could use its heavy machine-gun fire.

The town was then set on fire but that didn't prevent the 2nd Seaforths from destroying the 5 panzer tanks in St Sylvain. On the left flank, the firs Gordons fought heroically just like the 2nd and 7th Duke Wellingtons and the 1st Black Watch regiment further east.

Despite the allied forces of the French and British units, the resistance weakened and Rommel convinced the fighters to cease fire.

On 12th June, between midnight and 8 and came the boats that were so desired!

The Leopard under Commander Loisel, the Savorgnan de Brazza, President Théodore Tissier, the Notre Dame de France, the Jeanne and Geneviève, the Pourquois pas, the marotte, the Amiens aviso, the Granville trawler, others arrive in front of Veules les Roses including Belgian trawlers which had already acted in Dieppe.

Altogether 3,800 British men were saved, including 1,700 from the 51st Highland Division and 1,800 Frenchmen. In the morning of 12th June, General Fortune asked for more help from Portsmouth. At 8 am Rommel stormed the final position from the East with the tanks from the 5th Panzer division and the 2nd motorized division. At 8 am General Ihler ordered a cease fire, a white flag was raised.

The first panzer tanks moved into the town from Veulettes, Rommel met them on the Western Quay, just before 11 am he got General Fortune's surrender.

The Pays de Caux was the scene of violent fighting as confirmed by the numerous plaques and monuments commemorative of the events erected in the towns and villages around.

More than a thousand French men and more than 600 Scottish men belonging to the 51st Highland Division were killed.

Saint-Pierre Bénouville, St Ouen Le Mauger, the Auzonville Bridge, the Eaway forest, Hautot St Sulpice, Héricourt en Caux, Fultot, Doudeville and many other places.

At Biville La Baignarde opposite the war memorial of the Great War, a block of blue granite bears the name of the 47 soldiers from the 40s (who were not from the village) who lost their lives in 2 hours on 10th June.

In the graveyard around Houdetot church, 20 graves and a plaque remind is of the supreme sacrifice of the 1st Black Watch and the 5th Alpine Hunters half-brigade who died on 12th June.

In 137 village cemeteries, among which those of Veules les Roses, Veulettes, Angines, Ste Geneviève en Caux, is buried at least one Scottish soldier.

In this very place, in this burial, during the deadly days of the 10th, 11th, 12th June, 124 French and 82 British soldiers were buried. 'With brave warriors, with their mixed blood is the Cauchoix soil impregnated.'

Historians have hinted that the soldiers from the 40s failed to do their duty. But one should not forget that within 26 days the enemy lost 1,100 tanks out of 3,000 and 62,000 soldiers were disabled. And that from May to June, 342,000 French soldiers were killed or wounded.

One should not forget either the heroic deeds like at Hannut, where the 1st tank fight took place which ended in a French victory. It was in Stonne (a town captured 17 times) and where the third motorized Infantry division withdrew on 25th May that between 17th and 19th May the 4th DCR of Colonel Charles de Gaulles launched an attack at Moncornet against the first panzer of Guderian (an assault which was stopped by two Stuka attacks); in Amiens the 16th and 24th infantry divisions stopped more than three panzer corps and destroyed 196 panzers in 9 days. In Lille General Reicheneau granted General Moliné full war honours of the war; closer to us, in Doudeville, Commander Person received the same honour after surrendering as he was surrounded and without ammunitions.

In this year when France honours its former colonial troops can we keep silent on the atrocities committed by the invader, especially to these 26 Senegalese prisoners who were shot dead at Airianes or on the 86 bodies found at Saut du Loup, or the hundreds of soldiers from the 12th Regiment locked up in a barn and slaughtered.

In his famous 18th June speech the 70th anniversary of which will be celebrated this year, General De Gaulle said: "It’s only in the light of its history that a people can know and protect itself and can never make the same mistakes twice."

Memory is an inheritance that all former soldiers have the duty to apss on. This inheritance also concerns families and teachers, of course. We must pay a tribute to the teachers who dedicate themselves and fulfil their missions as transmitters of history. They have a major role as tomorrow's citizens are in their hands. If it is true that we don't commemorate a defeat, yet the sacrifice of these men must remain in the collective memory of the Nation and must be known to our children.

As Bernanos said: "let us never forget the honour of a people that belongs to the dead and those who are alive only have the usufruct."

Thank you for listening to me.

The graves of the six 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry men buried in or near St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British cemetery:

We do not yet know how Troopers Bray, Keighren and Melville died, nor Lance Corporal Emmerson. Sandy Usher died of his wounds. He was shot on 11 June 1940 and wounded in the arm. His tourniquet was not loosened and as a result he died of gangrene on 18 June 1940. He was a jovial and sociable man of 38 nad unmarried and was respected and liked by his troops. Harry Younger was killed on 12 June 1940 as he took refuge in a barn near Angoueville with Lt Col Ansell, Kenneth Spreckley and others. He was married with children. Harry was loved and respected by his men, many of whom had been his employees in the brewery prior to the start of the war. The fact that Harry Younger voluntarily took a demotion to Major from Lieutenant Colonel when Lt Col Mike Ansell arrived in March 1940 to lead the Lothians, rather than take a desk job in the UK at the same rank, was an act of courage and loyalty.

Speech by the Lord Provost of Inverness on Saturday 12 June 2010 at the St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British cemetery

I am immensely proud to be here today, not only representing the city of Inverness and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and other parts of Britain where the army of the 51st Division came from, all those who lost their lives here at St Valery.

The battle that raged here 70 years ago exacted a human toll that affected all our communities. It was particularly devastating for you in St Valery.

Today we remember these awful events right through to the liberation of St Valery on 7 June 1944 and to the end of the war in 1945.

We remember how the British and French men fought side by side. We remember the 51st Division; those men from the Black Watch and the Seaforth Highlanders, from the Gordon Highlanders, the Cameron Highlanders, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. They were supported by the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, the Royal Corps of Signals, the Royal Armoured Medical Corps, the Royal Army Services. They also had their own attachment from the Princess Louise Kensington Regiment, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Norfolk Regiment, the Royal Army Co-ordinance and the Northumberland Fusiliers along with other troops that made up the 51st Highland Division.

We pay tribute to them all here today who fought alongside French allies. And we are also here to proclaim to the world that war is a dreadful thing; that it is much better for us to talk peace than to fight war.

Thus Thursday night we paid tribute to the Highland Division in the Inverness Town House where we had the Royal Regiment of Scotland who are the present day 51st Highland Division. We had eight veterans who fought here in the Second World War and we also had representatives from the Royal Regiment who danced the reel of the 51st Division; a dance that was devised originally in a prisoner of war camp in Poland.

We need to think to the future to tell them that the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of our young people should never be asked of them again. To tell them that friendship is a better option for everyone.

The events of 1940, though, have created a friendship between St. Valery and Inverness, a unity and fraternity that grows stronger with each year. Where now even the very youngest of our schools can communicate through modern technology and we have representative from the young primary school in St. Valery here today who the young people of Inverness communicate with on a regular basis.

That is the hope for the future. We should look forward with hope. But we should never forget the sacrifice that so many had to make.

At the going down of the sum and in the morning, we will remember them.

There was the opportunity to attend mass at the church of St. Valery. The veterans and one carer were invited to a lunch by the mayor.


The group attended a ceremony at the village of Veules Les Roses at 15:30 on the cliff beside the guns of the Cerons.

Speech by Bruce Crawford of the Scottish Government on Saturday 12 June 2010 at Veules les Roses

This is a remarkably poignant day. It has been a huge honour for me and if you are wondering who I am, I am Bruce Crawford. I am the Minister for Parliamentary Business in the Scottish Government and I am delighted and honoured to be here to pay tribute to the men and women who laid down their lives in sacrifice for democracy and freedom.

Earlier on I was standing up beside the mayors and the Provost of Inverness and Brigadier Alfrey and I could hear the voices of the children from the beaches. When I heard the voices of the children on the beaches, it made me realise that they only have the freedom to laugh and to have joy because men such as the French and the Belgians and the people from the 51st and other regiments who fought I this area laid down their lives to allow that freedom.

They laid down their lives not only for democracy and freedom but they also laid down their lives to protect their fellow countrymen who were trying to escape back to Grand Britannia just across the water.

Some of the stories that I've heard over the past few hours - not always the stories of great battles, but the stories of great individuals - have been remarkable. The man whose friend was blown up next to him and he was covered in his friend's blood and lay on the beach for five days to be rescued five days later in and out of consciousness. The men who walked all the way to Poland and East Germany only to escape and find their way to Spain and their way home or after the end of the war finding themselves in a square in a German city to ear the massed pipes and bands of the Scottish Regiments playing to them and Highland Cathedral that we heard earlier today. And at all of it their eyes were filled with tears in the same way that my eyes were filled with tears today.

So it's a huge honour and a huge privilege to be here.

Can I pay tribute to the people of this part of France who have done a fantastic job today and I'm sure it will be the same tomorrow paying tribute to the men and women who laid down their lives for their countries and for the sake of freedom and democracy.

To the three mayors who are here today and from the various towns and villages around here. From the people of Scotland, from the people of the 51st Highland Brigade, it gives me huge pleasure to be here this afternoon in this fantastic part of France.

We need to make sure that the memory of what happened here lives forever. We need to ensure that our own young people understand what happened here in the past. The sacrifice and the courage of the people who stood before the German advancing armies in the sure knowledge that they were facing defeat can know no match. So with these few words I'll just say thank you to the people of France on behalf of Scotland and on behalf of the 51st Highlanders and I hope you all have a fantastic day today and tomorrow.


The group attended a ceremony in the village of Manneville with a "un Vin d'Honneur".

Angus Hay lecture

The group attended a lecture by Angus Hay on the 51st Highland Division.

Dinner in the Municipal Hall at St. Valery-en-Caux

The group attended a dinner in the municipal hall of St. Valery-en-Caux.

4. Sunday 13 June 2010 (events)


The group attended a ceremony in the village of Emenouville with "un Vin d'Honneur"..

St. Valery-en-Caux cemetery

The group attended a ceremony at the Cemetery of St.Valery with a French regiment.

Lunch in the Municipal Hall at St. Valery-en-Caux

The group attended a lunch in the municipal hall of St. Valery-en-Caux.

5. Meet the veterans

6. Newspaper articles

1. St Valery paper Saint-Valery-en-Caux. Des anciens combatants britanniques sont revenus sur les lieux de la bataille de juin 40
2. Le Courrier Cauchois vendredi 18 juin 2010 Saint-Pierre-le-Viger : Une visite émouvante
3. Le Courrier Cauchois page 62 Une émouvante commémoration

1. St Valery paper

(Translation by Google Translate)

Saint-Valery-en-Caux. Des anciens combatants britanniques sont revenus sur les lieux de la bataille de juin 40.
Les veterans de retour
Saint-Valery-en-Caux. Former British combatants return to the scene of the battle of June 40.
The veterans are back
A l'invitation de l'Amicale du 12e Régiment de chasseurs et des Anciens combattants valériquais, plusieurs vétérans de juin 1940 ont été accueillis dans la commune. Parmi eux se trouvaient Andrew Cheyne et John Borland, tous deux blessés sur la plage de Saint-Valery-en-Caux, Bill Crighton qui fut capturé à Cailleville et Geoffrey Bryden. Ce groupe comptait également John Fortune, le petit-fils du général Fortune, Iain Jenkins, aumônier de la 51e Highland division, John Crowe, secrétaire général de l'association en mémoire des combats de Gallipoli, les familles des soldats du 7e bataillon du Royal Norfolk, du régiment de Lothians and Borders et du régiment du 7e bataillon du Royal Northumberland Fusil. Le groupe a visité la Maison Henri IV et participé aux commémorations du 70e anniversaire des combats de juin 1940 à Angiens, Houdetot, Manneville-es-Plains, Saint-Valery-en-Caux et Veules-les-Roses. At the invitation of the Association of the 12th Regiment of Hunters and Veterans od St. Valery, several veterans of June 1940 were welcomed into the town. Among them were Andrew Cheyne and John Borland, both wounded on the beach of Saint-Valery-en-Caux, Bill Crighton who was captured at Cailleville and Geoffrey Bryden. This group also included John Fortune, the grandson of General Fortune, Iain Jenkins, chaplain of the 51st Highland Division, John Crowe, general secretary of the association in memory of the battles of Gallipoli, the families of soldiers of the 7th Battalion of the Royal Norfolk, Lothians and Border Yeomanry and the Regiment of the 7th Battalion Royal Northumberland Rifles. The group visited the Maison Henri IV and participated in the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the fighting in June 1940 in Angiens, Houdetot Manneville-es-Plains, Saint-Valery-en-Caux and Veules-les-Roses.

2. Le Courrier Cauchois vendredi 18 juin 2010

(Translation by Google Translate)

Saint-Pierre-le-Viger : Une visite émouvante Saint-Pierre-le-Viger: A moving visit

Lundi dernier, faisant suite aux cérémonies du 70e anniversaire de la bataille de Saint-Valery-en-Caux, Saint-Pierre-le-Viger a reçu la visite de cinquante-cinq Écossais de l'Université Militaire d'Aberdeen encadrés par le colonel Matthew Wardner.
Tous venaient se recueillir sur les hauteurs du village où de nombreux soldats de la Black Watch ont perdu la vie de 11 juin 1940. Parmi eux se trouvait Andrew Bradford, fils du capitaine Bradford qui commandait ces hommes.

Le soldat Écossais Eric Linklater a raconté à l'épisode ainsi : " Ce jour-là à 9 heures, le premier bataillon de la Black Watch s'établit sur une pente offrant peu de couvert. Les hommes qui étaient sans vivres, abattirent une vache qu'ils mangèrent à demi-cuite. En fin d'après-midi, les deux compagnies avancées à Saint-Pierre-le-Viger durent faire face à une très foret pression allemande. Vers 6 heures, cinquante hommes avaient été tués ou étaient arrivés vers 4h30. Du côté anglais, le capitaine Bradford commandait mais l'après-midi un officier français de grade supérieur arriva avec un escadron de vieux 'durs à cuire' du 5e cuirassiers. Les Français se battirent avec courage et vaillance. Ils avaient laissé leurs chevaux dans un pré et se battirent à pied.
Lorsque les deux flancs furent menacés, les Français se portèrent en avant pour faire face au danger. Les tirs d'artillerie ne leur firent pas baisser la tête.
Leur commandant, un homme grisonnant, eut le bras enlevé par un obus de mortier. Le visage décomposé par l'approche de la mort, il se faisait encore porter sur les positions par deux de ses hommes, pour donner ses ordres. Ils tinrent jusqu'au soir . . .
Le capitaine Bradford fit évacuer les blessés dans des camions. Les deux compagnies de la Black Watch, bien diminuées elles aussi, tinrent jusqu'à 22 heures. Elles se replièrent alors pour reprendre le combat à 2.5 km et à l'est de Saint-Valery. Les hommes ne voulaient pas se rendre. Il fallut leur en donner l'ordre individuellement. Les survivants furent autorises à défiler devant leur général. Marchant sous la pluie, ils firent tête droite en passant devant lui . . . et la Garde Noire s'effaça . . . "

Ces propos ont été recueillis par Pierre Lutinier, instituteur et figure légendaire de Saint-Pierre-le-Viger, et publiés dans le Petit journal de lécole.

Last Monday, following the ceremonies of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Saint-Valery-en-Caux Saint-Pierre-le-Viger has visited fifty-five of the Scottish University of Aberdeen Military supervised by Colonel Matthew Wardner.
All came to collect on the heights of the village where many soldiers from the Black Watch were killed in June 11, 1940. Among them was Andrew Bradford, son of Captain Bradford, who commanded these men.

The Scottish soldier Eric Linklater told the episode: "This day at 9:00, the first battalion of the Black Watch moved on a slope with little cover. The men who were without food, shot a cow they ate half-cooked. By late afternoon, the two forward companies in Saint-Pierre-le-Viger had to face a very drill German pressure. Around 6:00, fifty men were killed or had arrived around 4:30. The English captain Bradford commanded but the afternoon a French officer of higher rank arrived with a squadron of old 'tough guys' 5th cuirassiers. The French fought with courage and valour. They had left their horses in a meadow and fought on foot.
When both sides were threatened, the French moved forward to face the danger. The shelling did them not lower his head.
Their commander, a grizzled man, had his arm removed by a mortar shell. Face contorted by the approach of death, he was still wearing the positions of two of his men, to give orders. They held up tonight ...
Captain Bradford put the wounded into trucks. The two companies of the Black Watch, although similarly reduced, held up to 22 hours. They then retreated to fight again to 2.5 km east of Saint-Valery. The men did not want to go. It took them to order individually. The survivors were permitted to parade before their general. Walking in the rain, they made head right past him ... and the Black Guard disappeared ... "

These comments were collected by Pierre Lutinier, teacher and legendary figure of St. Peter-le-Viger, and published in the Diary of the school.

3. Le Courrier Cauchois page 62

(Translation by Google Translate)

Une émouvante commémoration A moving commemoration

C'est dans le cimetière militaire que, samedi dernier, Gérard Mauger, maire, a présidé une cérémonie émouvante commémorant la bataille de juin 1940 dans la station valériquaise. Une cérémonie qui s'est déroulée sous la conduite de Jean-Jacques Vinel, adjoint, lieutenant-colonel honoraire de l'armée de l'air, en présence de Christian Gueydan, sous-préfet de l'arrondissement de Dieppe, Alfred Trassy-Paillogues, député, Catherine Morin-Desailly, sénatrice, Charles Revet, sénateur, Jimmy Gray, prévost d'Inverness, du colonel Francois Chevant, délégué militaire départemental, Yves Grouselle, commandant en second du Cérons, et des amiraux Maurice Girard, Georges Girard, Bruno Paulmier, avec la participation de la Musique de la Région Terre Nord-Ouest de Rennes.
Seule commémoration officielle labellisée par le ministère de la Défense, cette cérémonie avait pour but de rendre hommage et d'honorer ceux qui, « les 10, 11 et 12 juin 1940, dans la station valeriquaise, en hommes libres, se sont vaillamment battus. Ils ont donné leur vie en luttant contre cet envahisseur qui a contraint la Grande-Bretagne et la France, suite à des accords de défense, à déclarer la guerre à l'hôte de la chancellerie du Reich. »
Revenant sur l'historique de cette bataille, M. Mauger soulignait que la station, valeriquaise était alors le seul lieu d'évacuation possible pour les troupes (voir l'historique de la Bataille de Saint-Valery dans notre édition du 4 juin dernier).
Les combats ont fait rage durant trois jours, Malgré les forces conjuguées des unités françaises et britannique, la résistance s'épuise et Rommel; persuade les combattants de cesser le feu. Le 12 juin, entre minuit et 8 heures, arrivent enfin ces bateaux tant espérés : Le Léopard, le Savorgnan-de-Brazza, le Président-Theodore-Tissier, le Notre-Dame-de-France, la Jeanne et Geneviève, le pourquoi pas ?, la Marotte, l'aviso Amiens, le chalutier Granville, quand d'autres se présentent devant Veules-les-Roses dont des chalutiers belges qui étaient déjà intervenus a Dieppe. Sur l'ensemble de ces embarquements, 3,800 Britanniques, dont 1,700 de la 51e HD, et 1.800 Français furent sauves, avant de poursuivre.

Passeurs de mémoire
" La Mémoire est un héritage que, vous anciens combattants avez le devoir de transmettre. Cet héritage, poursuivait le mairie, concerne aussi les familles et naturellement les enseignants. Il faut particulièrement rendre hommage aux professeurs qui s'impliquent et assurent leur mission de passeurs de mémoire. Leur rôle est primordial, les futurs citoyens sont entre leurs mains. S'il est vrai que l'on ne commémore pas une défaite, pour autant, le sacrifice de ces hommes doit perdurer dans la mémoire collective de la Nation et être connu de nos enfants. »
Dans l'après-midi, Jean-Claude Claire, maire de Veules-les-Roses, présidait la même cérémonie au pied des canon du Cérons. Lui aussi, il devait revenir sur cette page de l'histoire de la commune, de l'arrivée des Allemands à l'embarquement des troupes alliées et aussi sur les pertes importantes, « un second épisode tragique après celui de Dunkerque. ". Dans son esprit, cette cérémonie permettait de faire honneur aux soldats des diverses nationalités et aux Veulais.

A moving commemoration It was in the military cemetery on Saturday, Gérard Mauger, Mayor, presided over a moving ceremony commemorating the Battle of the station in June 1940 valériquaise. A ceremony was held under the leadership of Jean-Jacques Vinel, deputy, lieutenant-colonel of the Air Force, in the presence of Christian Gueydan, sub-prefect of the arrondissement of Dieppe, Alfred Trassy- Paillogues, MP, Catherine Morin-Desailly, Senator Charles Revet, Senator, Jimmy Gray, Provost of Inverness, Colonel Francois Sheva, military delegate county, Yves Grouselle, second in command Cérons, admirals and Maurice Girard, George Girard Bruno Paulmier, with the participation of the Band of the Northwest Area Land Rennes. Only official commemoration labelled by the Department of Defence, the ceremony was to honour and celebrate those who, "10, 11 and 12 June 1940, the station valeriquaise, free men have fought valiantly. They gave their lives fighting against the invader that forced Britain and France, following defence agreements, to declare war to the host of the Reich Chancellery. " Returning to the history of this battle, Mauger stressed that the station, valeriquaise was the only possible evacuation destination for the troops (see the history of the Battle of Saint-Valery in our June 4 issue) . Fighting raged for three days, despite the combined forces of British and French units, the resistance became exhausted and Rommel; persuaded the combatants to cease fire. On June 12, between midnight and 8:00, arrived at last these boats as expected: The Leopard, the Savorgnan de Brazza, the President-Theodore-Tissier, the Notre-Dame-de-France, Jeanne and Jennifer, why not? the Marotte, the sloop Amiens, the trawler Granville, while others appear near Veules-les-Roses Belgian trawlers which had earlier at Dieppe. On all of these shipments, 3,800 Britons, including 1,700 of the 51st HD, and 1,800 French were saved before continuing. Smugglers memory "Memory is a legacy that you veterans have a duty to transmit. That legacy, said the mayor, also refers to families and of course teachers. We must pay particular tribute to teachers who get involved and ensure their mission smugglers memory. Their role is crucial, future citizens are in their hands. While we do not commemorate a defeat, provided the sacrifice of these men must endure in the collective memory of the nation and be known to our children." In the afternoon, Jean-Claude Claire, Mayor Veules-les-Roses, chaired the ceremony at the foot of the same canon of Cérons. He too returned to that page in the history of the town, the Germans came to the embarkation of allied troops and also the losses, "a second after the tragic episode of Dunkirk". In his mind, allowing the ceremony to honour the soldiers of various nationalities and cowardly.