Site Credits

This website has been funded by the 51st Highland Division Trust Fund - a Scottish Charity (SC005611)
& The Highland Division Ross Bequest Fund - a Scottish Charity (SC002288)

Website Historian - Brigadier (Ret'd) C S Grant OBE
Website Designer and Developer - Ian Livingstone

Images & Photographs

Copyright material may not be copied, reproduced or displayed on other websites without the permission of the specific copyright holder. Information on who holds the copyright of images on this site can be found displayed in the 'information' section alongside each image.

In some cases photos and scans have been sent to us from members of the public and are displayed with their kind permission.

Thanks also go to the Imperial War Museum for permission to use photographs from their archive in addition to several Battalion museums.


Many of the photos in this website come from the Imperial War Museum's huge collections which cover all aspects of conflict involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the start of the twentieth century. These rich resources are available online to search, browse and buy at

In addition to Collections Online, you can visit the Visitor Rooms where you can explore over 10 million photographs, thousands of hours of moving images, the largest sound archive of its kind in the world, thousands of diaries and letters written by people in wartime, and a huge reference library. To make an appointment, call (020) 7416 5320, or e-mail

Publications / Bibliography

"Battalion" by Alastair Borthwick. Alastair Borthwick was already known as a journalist and writer before the war and the publication of his mountaineering tale Always a Little Further (1939) established his reputation as an engaging and entertaining. Borthwick was commissioned into the Glasgow Highlanders in November 1939 and later moved to the Reconnaissance Battalion of the 51st Highland Division and was based in Egypt in 1942. He joined the 5th Seaforths in 1943 at the end of their Desert Campaign serving first in Mortars and then as Intelligence Officer. At the end of the war (while still in Germany) his commanding officer asked him to write the Battalion's tale. Employing his story-telling skills Borthwick produced a compelling book. He sought to describe the soldier's view of events while avoiding moralising or introspection. He made skilful use of first-hand accounts to add a sharp reality to the descriptions of the battles which in turn he set out with clarity and economy. Sans Peur (the title taken from the Battalion's motto), was published in 1946 but, though instantly acclaimed and widely admired, soon went out of print. After a passage of 48 years the book was re-published by Bâton Wicks - London (ISBN 1-898575-00-X) with additional maps and photos and with a new title "Battalion". Extracts produced on this web site are done so by kind permission of Bâton Wicks.

"Churchill's Sacrifice of the Highland Division - France 1940" by Saul David. First published in 1994 and republished in 2004 by Brassey's. (ISBN 1 85753 378 X)

"Monty's Highlanders - 51st Highland Division in World War Two" by Patrick Delaforce. Published by Tom Donovan Publishing in 1997. ISBN : 1-871085-40-3. After a brief introduction to the early years of the Division the author takes up the story in detail with the reforming of the Division after St.Valéry and covers the detailed operations of the division to the conclusion of the War.

"Scottish Divisions in the World Wars" by Mike Chappell. Published by Osprey Publishing in 1994 and subsequently. (ISBN 1 85532 469 5)

"So Few Got Through" by Martin Lindsay. Publisher in 1946 by Collins. "So Few Got Through" is the personal diary of Lieutenant Colonel Martin Lindsay, DSO, MP who served with the Gordon Highlanders in the 51st Highland Division from July 1944 to May 1945. This wonderful first hand account, entered as a diary as events happed provides a wonderful insight into this Battalion in North West Europe..

"The 51st Highland Division at War" by Roderick Grant. Published by Ian allan Ltd in 1977. An illustrated history. (ISBN 0 7110 0735 7).

"The Highland Division" by Eric Linklater. Published by His Majesty's Stationary Office 1942. This small publication tells the story of the 51st Highland Division in the BEF up to and including the surrender at St.Valéry.

"The History of the 51st Highland Division" by J B Salmon. First published in 1953 by William Blackwood and sons Ltd and republished in 1994 by the Pentland Press. (ISBN 1 85821 246 6). The official history of the Division..

"The Spirit of Angus" by John McGregor. First published in 1988, the 2000 edition (ISBN 0 85033 650 3) is available from the Black Watch Museum details of which can be found in Credits. Extracts produced on this web site are done so by kind permission of the Black Watch Museum.

"Return to St. Valéry" by Lieutenant General Sir Derek Lang published by Leo Cooper, London 1974. ISBN 0 85052 168 8. Derek Lang was one of the very few men who had the privilege of commanding the troops who liberated the town in which he had been captured four years earlier. The book tells the story of his capture, escape through France and Syria and his return, finally to command the 5th Camerons he had help form and return with them to liberate St.Valéry.

"Escape from Saint Valéry-en-Caux", The adventures of Captain B C Bradford has been written and complied by his son Andrew Bradford from his father's diaries and letters. It tells the dramatic story of Captain Berenger Colborne Bradford, Adjutant of the 1st Battalion Black Watch, and his experiences between 1939 and 1941, during which time he was in the thick of the action in France, leading up to the surrender of the Highland Division at Saint Valéry-en­Caux in June 1940. While being marched into captivity Captain Bradford contrived to escape from the Germans, and embarked upon an unbelievable wartime career comprising a further seven escapes from the Vichy French.

This illustrated account reveals Captain Bradford's odyssey to safety in Gibraltar, spanning France, Spain and North Africa, including a night crossing of the Pyrenees and an astonishing 700-mile voyage in a 17ft sailing boat. Crossing the paths of musicians and priests, communists and Jews, and from battlefields to prison cells, Captain Bradford made his long journey home.

Published by The History Press in 2009 (ISBN 978 0 7524 4431 4) costing £20.

"Operation Scipio" by B S Barnes, published by Sentinel Press in 2007, provides personal accounts of the Battle of Wadi Akarit from the perspective of the 4th Indian, 50th Northumbrian and 51st Highland Divisions. The chapter on the 51st Highland Division has over 100 pages with a host of personal accounts by all rank and covering not only the infantry but other divisional troops. It also has the appropriate extracts from battalion war diaries for the battle. It is an outstanding read and provides many fascinating and personal insights.

I am delight that the author has very kindly agreed that I can use extract and sections from the book. I will therefore be adding a number of these accounts to the website but I can assure you that it will still be worth buying this excellent book.

'The History of the 7th Argylls From El Alamein to Germany' by Ian C Cameron published by Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd

'The History of the Fifty First (Highland) Division 1914-1918' by Major F W Bewsher DSO MC published by The Naval & Military Press