captured at st,valery-sur-somme 12/06/40

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by hgv6372, May 24, 2010.

  1. hgv6372

    hgv6372 Junior Member

    Hi, my grandfather was captured at st,valery-sur-somme in 1940 and was on his way to a camp when he and his friend escaped on the 23/06/40, they were attached to the 51st highland div.my question is this, is there any info of if any others escaped and which camp they could have been heading to. any info would be gratefully recieved.
    ta craig
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Don't you mean St.Valery-en-Caux ?
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Craig,

    I've just read your original thread about your grandfather and his escape report. The route he took was pretty much a standard route normally via Marsaille in Vichy controlled South of France.

    If you want a bit on an idea of this time period I would recommend a copy of Sean Longden's 'The Men They Left Behind. It mainly focuses on life as a PoW from the 1940 campaign but he does cover the escapes routes in some detail - You won't be disappointed.

    Copies start for a fiver here:

    the men they left behind - AbeBooks
     
  4. Wideload

    Wideload Nulli Secundus

    i was in St. Valery sur Somme about 3 weeks ago, went and saw the graves of a few 51st lads in the town cemetery, as on the way back from reenacting the 2/5th Queen's at Bellancourt we took a scenic route back to calais and went to see where the Queens went back and a company of the Queen's was captured there along with the 51st.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    St Valery-sur-Somme & St Valery-en-Caux are two totally different places.
    51st Div surrendered at the latter.
     
  6. Wideload

    Wideload Nulli Secundus

    ah well at least i saw some graves of lads who fell there.
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Hi, my grandfather was captured at st,valery-sur-somme in 1940 and was on his way to a camp when he and his friend escaped on the 23/06/40, they were attached to the 51st highland div.my question is this, is there any info of if any others escaped and which camp they could have been heading to. any info would be gratefully recieved.
    ta craig

    I have not seen the escape details.But regarding Marseille,did your Grandfather have any contact with Capt Ian Garrow,another 51st Highlander who turned up at Marseille in October 1940 with 4 other Highlanders in tow.

    I am aware of the names of three of these Highlanders.

    Incidentally St Valery sur Somme could have also been a place where the 51st Highland Division passed through on their way south for an evacuation.There are a few casualities in the local cemetery as has been said.Additionally it would appear that there was a few civilian casualties probably caused by over confident invaders.Civilians did not have to do much to lose their lives as the Germans swept down the coast.
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Yes, there was some fighting near St-Valery-sur-Somme as the Germans had a bridghead over the Somme in that area.

    I was just pointing out it wasn't the same St Valery where the final stand took place.

    The two forward battalions of 154 Bde , 7th & 8th Argylls, held the area from Saigneville to the sea, facing the German bridgehead at St Valery-sur-Somme on 5th June 1940.
    The Germans were to launch their attack with 11th Motorised Brigade & 12th Infantry Divsion.

    from Saul David's book, Churchill's Sacrifice Of The Highland Division

    From the official history.
    The 154th Brigade was not to advance but engage enemy troops in the area of St Valery sur Somme by fire, so as to prevent them from reinforcing the Abbeville bridgehead

    HyperWar: The War in France and Flanders 1939–1940 [Chapter XVIII]


    Their first thrust came from the bridgehead at St Valery sur Somme where the 154th Brigade held the left sector. The villages of Saigneville, Mons, Caitgny, Pende, Battalions of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders—were all heavily attacked by infantry with artillery and mortar support, while more of the enemy's troops pressed forward through the open country between them. The Higherlanders' villages were too widely separated for the companies to give each other effective support, and though they fought with dogged tenacity they were forced back to gradually overwhelmed.

    HyperWar: The War in France and Flanders 1939–1940 [Chapter XIX]
     
  9. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Try reading "Return to St valery" by General Sir Derek Lang. He was adjutant of 4th Camerons and captured and escaped (twice) the 2nd time successfully and would become commander of 5th Battalion in 1944. He was awarded the MC for his escape.
     
  10. Jane

    Jane Junior Member

    One of my uncles was killed at St Valery and another was captured and take to Poland as a POW. Their surname was Cator, any info would be greatly appreciated, thank you and "God Rest Their Souls"
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Jane and welcome to the forum.

    Corporal Herbert Robert Cator, 7th Bn. Royal Norfolk Regiment ?

    CWGC :: Certificate

    Looks like he died trying to be evacuated.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  12. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Hi Jane

    This is the only Cator I found listed as being interned in Poland. Also of the Royal Norfolk Regiment

    Name: F. C. Cator
    Rank: Private
    Army Number: 5771902
    Regiment: Royal Norfolk Regiment
    POW Number: 18209
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XX-B
    Camp Location: Malbork, Poland

    Hope this helps.

    Regards - Rob
     
  13. Jane

    Jane Junior Member

    Hi Andy, thanks for that, I was not sure if he was being evacuated or what as he died on the 12th which was when the 51st surrendered. Although he was with the Norfolks it appears he had become attached to the 51st. I have read many harrowing reports about this day, it is really starnge as until a few months ago I never knew of either of my Uncles existance. Families hey?
    Hi Rob thanks for this info also I believe that my Uncle was in Poland until the end of the war but again I have no info from family.
    Many thanks guys you really have helped.
    Regards
    Jane
     
  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Welcome to the Forum
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Jane,

    Firstly if you are really interested in finding out about them I would apply for their service records. They will however cost you £30 each.

    The 7th Norfolks were part of 51st Highland Division. They were the Divisions Pioneer Battalion at GHQ.

    Le Harve is around 50 miles away from Saint Valery which is a fair old way in 1940 terms. I'll check my 'Evacuation Books' to see if they were still evacuating on the 12th from Le Havre.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    British Troops were being evacuated from Le Havre on 12th June, mainly to Cherbourg.

    Best guess at the moment - he was killed in an air raid.

    Edit:

    I've just had a quick skim through Churchill's Sacrifice of the Highland Division and there is quite a bit of info on the 7th Norfolks. It appears they were defending the inner perimeter on the 11th/12th June.

    As a result of the above I'm now wondering if he died of wounds at Le Havre after being evacuated for medical attention as most of his Battalion was still in Saint Valery.
     
  17. Jane

    Jane Junior Member

    Thanks Andy, I thought he was killed on the beach at St Valery but I am still researching all this. I have never paid that much attention to these things before but OMG it makes you stop and think! You guys have really been a great help, thanks
     
  18. euan

    euan Junior Member

    Hi, new member here. My dad escaped from the beach at St. Valery. He would never talk about and I would love to know more about it. Is there any books I can buy that would give me this information
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi, new member here. My dad escaped from the beach at St. Valery. He would never talk about and I would love to know more about it. Is there any books I can buy that would give me this information

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Have you got a copy of your fathers service records?

    As for a good book I'd recommend Churchill's Sacrifice of the Highland Division by Saul David.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  20. euan

    euan Junior Member

    Hello Andy, I dont have his service records but I know he was with the RASC. I know they joined rifle belts together to make a rope but have no knowlege of how they got of the beach. I have read the book you mention but it does not cover this.
     

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