Untold story of Royal Scots’ final stand at Le Paradis is revealed

THE Royal Scots will hold an online commemoration today to mark the 80th anniversary of the 1st battalion’s final stand at Le Paradis, 30 miles from Dunkirk in north-east France.

Fifty former members of the regiment had been due to attend events in Le Paradis last Saturday before they were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, a commemorative event will be held via video conferencing website Zoom, with a recording available on the Royal Scots’ website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.

On 25 May 1940, the remains of the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots, numbering fewer than 400 men, prepared for their last stand at Le Paradis.

Their orders – to “Stand And Fight To The Last Man” – played a pivotal role in enabling the withdrawal of 337,000 allied personnel and their equipment from the beaches of Dunkirk.

Yet that valiant three-day rear-guard defence against overwhelming odds led to the battalion’s destruction.

Colonel Martin Gibson, a trustee of The Royal Scots regimental museum, said: “This is a soldier’s story.

“Though the Royal Scots had been in continuous action for 17 days, had travelled more than 200 miles and had suffered heavy casualties, their fighting spirit was undaunted.

“The Royal Scots, professional soldiers doing what they had signed up to do, fought ferociously to the last man at Le Paradis.

“Their contribution to Dunkirk was vital.

“We should never forget that the vast majority of those who survived spent the next five years as prisoners of war.”

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