Friday, 12 June 2015
75th Anniversary of the 51st Highland Division Surrender – The beginning of Neil’s captivity
Today at 10am, marks the exact moment Neil’s journey as a POW began in St. Valery, France.
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.
I remember my Grandad recalling this moment;
“Word started to spread round the Lads, something was happening.”
“Some men were cheering and celebrating shouting it’s over!, It’s over”
Rumours were rife, the men were misinformed and reality soon set in. The Division, had surrendered and they would now be classed as Prisoners of War.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears”, Neil said.
“I looked around and some of the Men were in tears. We just didn’t know what was going to happen to us from now on”