27th November 2013
Thank you to Poppyscotland supporter William Dickson for sharing this touching story of their annual tribute.
“On the last weekend of May each year Veterans, families and friends meet at the small village of Le Paradis in Northern France to remember the Battle around this village on 26-27th May 1940. Men of the Royal Scots and the 2nd Royal Norfolk Regiments had been ordered to hold the line north of La Bassee Canal in order to gain time for the evacuation of thousands of Allied troops on the beaches around Dunkirk. Against massive odds the two regiments fought as they were ordered, to the last man and to the last bullet. Those of the Royal Norfolks remaining, at the time of their surrender at a small farmhouse were immediately shot by the SS. Out of ninety nine soldiers lined up two managed to survive miraculously to tell the tale. The remaining Royal Scots were taken as Prisoners of War. As the story is little known against the enormity of what was happening at Dunkirk we have started to involve two local schools, St Joseph and Rene Flament, by giving small presentations, encouraging them to join in at the Commemoration Service and to follow the village Marching Band to the wreath laying ceremony. This year Poppyscotland provided packets of seeds which the children sowed close to the graves of the fallen soon after the Last Post had been sounded. A very moving moment for all of us – Flanders poppies returning from Scotland to their home soil. Now as the younger generation are learning what happened in their village of “Paradise” in those dark years this part of their history will not be forgotten. The idea has been put together by Hélène Chauvin a young Film-maker from Le Paradis who is determined the story will never be lost with support from Ralston Ryder son of the Officer Commanding 2 Royal Norfolks, Major Ryder and David and Willie Dickson sons of Col Seton Dickson, Royal Scots.”