Below is a list of the history pages, personal accounts, extracts and photos that have been tagged with a reference to 'St. Valery'...
1. [ history ]
An introduction to the history of the 51st Highland Division.
2. [ pow ]
Corporal Jack Kidd's personal accounts of joining the Division in 1938, the surrender at St. Valery 1940, the journey into captivity as a WWII POW and the final forced 'Death March' or 'Thousand mile march' in 1945 as the German Guards retreated.
3. [ pow ]
Corp. Jack Kidd's experience from joining the Territorial Army in January 1938 to his capture at St. Valéry-en-caux in June 1940.
4. [ pow ]
The story of Gunner Henry Owens - from his volunteering in 1939, through the capture at St Valéry, to life as a POW and finally the long march back from East Prussia into Germany, from where he was finally repatriated in 1945. It includes photos and copies of original documents as well as extracts from personal letters of the time.
5. [ pow ]
From Henry Owens' volunteering in 1939 to his capture at St. Valery in 1940
6. [ history ]
General Fortune considered all the options, a counter attack, further resistance, retaking the town but against this there was no possibility of evacuation or support, the men were exhausted and virtually out of ammunition, with no artillery ammunition at all. Shortly before 1000hrs on the 12th June General fortune took the most difficult of decisions - to surrender...
7. [ pow ]
While part of the 51st Highland Division, Ark Force, escaped capture at St Valéry and returned with the reformed 51st Highland Division to continue the war in North Africa and Europe for many their war would continue in captivity for the next five years...
8. [ pow ]
Johnnie Matheson retells the story of his five escape attempts from POW camps between 1940 - 1945.
He walked into wartime captivity with a haversack full of looted French franc notes of doubtful value from a bombed bank in St Valery - and more than five years later drove across a war-torn Europe heading for his Highland home in a brand new BMW car festooned with American stars and stripes, and a legitimate fortune in pounds sterling in his pocket.
9. [ pow ]
Corporal Jack Kidd's personal accounts of the journey into captivity from 12th June 1940 at St. Valéry, through Belgium, Holland and onto Thorne in Poland.
10. [ history ]
After St. Valery, the remainder of the 51st Highland Division joined the 9th Highland Division, a territorial 2nd line duplicate of the 51HD (amongst other smaller Battalions) to form the new 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. This reformed division had the following orders of Battle...
11. [ history ]
With the "Breakout" battle complete the 51st Highland Division has several days to recover before the advance continued. From Lisieux they advanced East crossing the Seine dealing with the enemy rear guard. The intention was to isolate the port of Le Havre... and on to St. Valéry.
12. [ battalions ]
Set of photos showing American Forces conducting a ceremony to hand over a drum of the 5th/7th Gordon Highlanders which had been lost in 1940. (c. Photo 1945/46, City unknown).
Photo is part of a set sent to us by Dave Clark who's Father was 320391 Lieutenant James Henderson Clark of 5th/7th Gordon Highlanders.
The set show the 5/7th Gordons on parade as part of the ceremony as well as the hand-over itself.
13. [ memorials ]
This window, dedicated in June 1990, is a gift from the highland cities and towns of Scotland and commemorates fifty years of their special association with the people and township of St. Valéry en Caux with Inverness and began in the difficult circumstances of 1940 when the German army converged on the town and the combined allied forces comprising the French 9 St Corps and the 51st Highland Division.
14. [ memorials ]
Memorial Stone and inscription to the fallen of the 51st Highland Division at St. Valéry-en-caux
15. [ memorials ]
Dedication of the path up the cliff from of Veules-les-Roses to Captain Derek Lang. The path was opened by Sarah Hunt, daughter of Sir Derek, in June 2015
1. [ account ]
From the "call out" of the TA in late 1938 to embarkation at Southampton for Le Havre in January 1940. Extract from 'Return to St. Valéry' by Lieutenant General Sir Derek Lang. Lieutenant General Lang was Adjutant of 4th Camerons in 1939 when the decision was made to double the size of the TA.
2. [ account ]
An extract from the journal of the late George Clare, 525 Company, Royal Army Service Corps. This extract covers his enlistment and his service up to St. Valéry. The journal goes well beyond that, covering his time as a prisoner of war and subsequent escape and a further extract will follow.
3. [ account ]
Account of the "Movements of 51 Div. and Attached Tps. since leaving Lille Area" [April 1940].
Provided by Mr Michael Thomson of Perth who provided various artefacts from his Uncle, Major David K Thomson, who was in the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) in the Divisional Supply Regiment.
4. [ account ]
Lieutenant Colonel Honeyman's personal account of the withdrawal of 1st Battalion Black Watch from St. Valery. The account spans from the 24th May to 13th June 1940.
5. [ account ]
Tom Garside's personal account of his lucky escape along the beach from St. Valery in June 1940.
Kindly sent to us by Tom's Son, Jim Garside.
6. [ account ]
Captain J.D. Inglis' account of the action in which 'C' Coy. were captured, 5th - 7th June 1940. The account was written for the Regimental Archive.
We were kindly sent a copy of this account by Capt. T. Inglis, the Grandson of Capt. J.D. Inglis.
7. [ account ]
An extract from the War Diary of Capt. J.P.P. Taylor, the Intelligence Officer of the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlands. Covers the period June 9th and 10th 1940 during the withdrawal towards St. Valery.
8. [ account ]
The defense of Le Havre from Arques-la-Bataille. (The B.E.F. June 1940)
9. [ account ]
The Highlanders Museum and Queen's Own Highlanders Collection have very generously provided a scan of the diary compiled by Major Grant while a prisoner of war. The pages of this diary reproduced here cover the period 9 to 12 June 1940.
10. [ account ]
A transcription of Major Grant's diary entries covering the period from the 9th June 1940 leading up to the capture of the Division at St. Valery on the 12th June 1940.
11. [ account ]
Extract from POW diary, written by Edward Gorder Rankmore, A Company, 2nd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders. This extract concerns the
The first extract pertains to 12-20 June 1940 and recounts his attempt to get away by a small boat with a party of Frenchmen and an Englishman who was wounded.
The journal goes on to detail his escape and capture 26-29 Nov 1940.
12. [ account ]
An extract from the War Diary of Capt. J.P.P. Taylor, the Intelligence Officer of the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlands. Covers the period June 11th and 12th 1940 at St. Valery.
13. [ extract ]
An extract from “Escape from Saint Valery-en-Caux - Recounting the Adventures of Captain B C Bradford”. This section describes the retreat towards St. Valery on the 11th/12th June 1940.
14. [ account ]
An extract from the War Diary of Captain R.A.A.S. Macrae Adjutant to 4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, covering the period 11/12th June 1940. Nb. a separate account covers the 27th May - 10th June, a link to which has been added to The B.E.F. section of the site.
15. [ account ]
Two accounts of ‘D’ Coy 7th Royal Norfolk and their capture at St. Valery June 11th & 12th 1940
16. [ account ]
The remarkable story of 2nd Lieutenant Richard Broad's escape from St. Valery. Reproduced, with kind permission, from Saul David's book, Churchill's Sacrifice.
17. [ extract ]
Report from C. in C. Portsmouth describing Naval efforts made to evacuate the 51st Highland Division between 10th - 12th June 1940.
18. [ account ]
Description of the The Battle of Wadi Akarit, taken from "The History of the 7th Argylls" by Captain Ian C Cameron
19. [ extract ]
An account of the Return to St. Valery, taken from "The Story of the 51st Highland Division Signals - June 1944 to July 1945"
20. [ account ]
Major General Rennie's address at St. Valéry on 3rd September 1944 after the return of the 51st Highland Division to St. Valéry.
21. [ account ]
An Account of the attack on Le Havre (September 1944), taken from "History of the 7th Aryglls" by Ian C Cameron.
22. [ account ]
Appreciation of Major General T. G. Rennie, C.B., D.S.O., M.B.E. written on 31 March by the Commandeer of the 2nd Army, Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey. Major General Rennie was killed by a shell during Operation Plunder - The crossing of the Rhine. March 1945.
1. [ photo ]
Corporal Jack Kidd, Prisoner of War after the 51HD were forced to surrender at St. Valery.
2. [ photo ]
Sketch map of the Somme - Bresle in Northern France, 1940.
3. [ photo ]
Portrait of Tom Garside. The annotation reads "France, 1940".
4. [ photo ]
German propaganda designed to encourage surrender
5. [ photo ]
Sketch map of Dieppe - St. Valery-en-caux
6. [ photo ]
Sketch map of Divisional deployment around St. Valery. Based on a sketch by Second Lieutenant "Ran" Ogilvie of Gordon Highlanders.
7. [ photo ]
The sketch map is based on a recent visit by Brig. C. Grant and on the map in 'The History of the 7th Argylls - From El Alamein to Germany' by Ian C Cameron
8. [ photo ]
Scan of Major Grant's diary relating to 9th June 1940, Dieppe / Arques Le Battaille
9. [ photo ]
Sketch map from Major Grant's diary relating to positions around Dieppe on 9th June 1940
10. [ photo ]
Sketch map from Major Grant's diary showing the route from Dieppe to St. Valery.
11. [ photo ]
HMS BOADICEA, a British "Beagle" or B-Class Destroyer, pictured here in coastal waters off Greenock. The Boadicea was badly damaged off St. Valery on 10th June 1940 by Stuka bombing raids whilst evacuating men.
12. [ photo ]
The HMS Bulldog helped evacuate men from St. Valery on 10th June 1940. Although damaged in Stuka raids was able to limp back to the Isle of Wight on one engine, still containing two unexploded bombs.
13. [ photo ]
Scan of page 28 from Major Grant's diary relating to the 9th/10th June 1940
14. [ photo ]
Scan of page 29 from Major Grant's diary relating to the 10th June 1940
15. [ photo ]
Sketch map from Major Grant's diary relating to positions around Longeuil on 10th June 1940
16. [ photo ]
Sketch map by Capt. Taylor, Intelligence Office 1 Gordons, of the St-Valery bridgehead western flank showing Coy areas on June 11th 1940 at 0930 hrs
17. [ photo ]
A sketch map taken from an extract from “Escape from Saint Valery-en- Caux - Recounting the Adventures of Capatin B C Bradford", showing the position of 1st Black Watch on the 11th June 1940.
18. [ photo ]
Scan of page 30 from Major Grant's diary relating to the 11th June 1940 and movements around St. Valery
19. [ photo ]
Scan of page 31 from Major Grant's diary relating to positions around Le Tot & St. Sylvan 11th June 1940
20. [ photo ]
Sketch map from Major Grant's diary relating to positions around St. Valery on 11th June 1940
21. [ photo ]
Sketch map from Major Grant's diary relating to positions around Le Tot & St. Sylvan and German Tank movements. 11th and 12th June 1940.
22. [ photo ]
The SS Sir Evelyn Wood, a War Department Steamer, used in evacuate men from France in 1940 and the boat that Tom Garside was able to gain escape from St. Valery on the night of 11th June 1940. The steamer was built in 1896 and remained in War Dept. service until 1958 (cit.)
23. [ photo ]
Sketch map by Capt. Taylor, Intelligence Office 1 Gordons, showing the Tank attack at St. Valery, 1500-1520 hrs, June 11th 1940
24. [ photo ]
Major General V M Fortune, GOC [General Commanding Officer] 51st Highland Division (right), with General Major Erwin Rommel at St. Valéry after the surrender of the 51st Division to Rommel's 7th Panzer Division (12th June 1940)
25. [ photo ]
Scan of page 32 from Major Grant's diary relating to the 11/12th June 1940
26. [ photo ]
Scan of page 33 from Major Grant's diary relating to the 11th/12th June 1940
27. [ photo ]
Scan of page 34 from Major Grant's diary relating to the 12th June 1940
28. [ photo ]
29. [ photo ]
Photograph from the Nazi propaganda magazine 'Signal', showing Highland Division POWs taken at Veules les Rose, east of St. Valery. Colin Hunter, 4th Camerons' Intelligence Officer, is in the centre right of the picture with a bandaged eye and Captain Derek Lang, with half his face visible, is at the extreme right.
30. [ photo ]
Newspaper Clipping on Henry Owens from his home town reporting him as 'missing'.
31. [ photo ]
51st Highland Division Shoulder Flash, red on blue background in use after the division was reformed after St. Valéry 1940, incorporating the Territorial 9th Scottish Division with the remains of 51st Highland Infantry Division.
32. [ photo ]
Should Flash of the 9th Highland Division, prior to incorporation into the 51st Highland Division after St. Valéry, 1940.
33. [ photo ]
This is a scan of the letter Henry Owens' Mother received officially notifying her of her son's (Henry Owens) capture and status as a POW. Dated 4th September 1940.
34. [ photo ]
A veteran of the First World War, Victor Fortune had been commissioned in 1903 and he had commanded 1st Battalion The Black Watch in 1916. He commanded 1st Seaforths in 1927 and took command of the 5th Infantry brigade in 1930. He commanded the 52nd (Lowland) Division in 1935 and took command of the Highland Division in 1937.
When the Division surrendered at St.Valéry General Fortune went into captivity, refusing to be repatriated after a stroke in 1944. He returned when the prisoners were liberated and retired from the Army and died on 2nd January 1949.
35. [ photo ]
Vehicles enter Rouen on their way to St. Valéry, 2 September 1944.
36. [ photo ]
The square at St. Valéry. Pipers of the 51st Highland Division play to a packed square after liberating the town in September 1944.
37. [ photo ]
Pipers play in the town square of St. Valéry-en-caux after liberating the town.
38. [ photo ]
This is a photo of the letter, dated 19th May 1945, given to Johnnie Matheson by US Army Capt. Judson B. De Loach to help explain how he came to be in possession of US Army Shirt, Helmet and Boots, in addition to a confiscated German BMW "bearing the American Flag"...
39. [ photo ]
A photograph of a press cutting, looking down on the devastated St. Valery on the occasion of the unveiling of the 51st Highland Davison Memorial in 1950
40. [ photo ]
This window shows the harbour inlet and town of St. Valéry within an aerial landscape incorporating the surrounding countryside which was involved in the action of 1940, together with the abrupt division by the cliffs between it and the sea which were both of extreme significance to the events of the time.
41. [ photo ]
This memorial window, dedicated in June 1990, is a gift from the highland cities and towns of Scotland and commemorates fifty years of their special association with the people and township of St. Valéry en Caux with Inverness which began in the difficult circumstances of 1940 when the German army converged on the town and the combined allied forces comprising the French 9 St Corps and the 51st Highland Division.
42. [ photo ]
51st Highland Division Memorial at St. Valéry. The inscription reads "In proud and grateful memory of all ranks of the 51st (Highland) Division who gave their lives during the war 1939-45"
43. [ photo ]
2nd Battalion The Highlanders ACF at the 51st Highland Division Memorial at St.Valéry en Caux.
44. [ photo ]
2nd Battalion The Highlanders ACF at the 51st Highland Division Memorial at St.Valéry en Caux.
45. [ photo ]
Photograph of Sarah Hunt, Daughter of Sir Derek Lang Path at the unveiling of the cliffside path dedicated to him at Vueles-les-Roses in June 2015.
46. [ photo ]
Pipe Major Ben J Duncan, from The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Pipes & Drums, previews the Heroes of St Valéry from the doorstep of Edinburgh Castle.