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Charles joins tributes to soldiers caught up in ‘forgotten Dunkirk’


The Queen’s piper has led commemorations involving more than 500 players in a tribute to thousands of Scots killed or captured during “the forgotten Dunkirk” 80 years ago. The Second World War battle led to 10,000 mainly Scottish soldiers from the 51st Highland Division being captured at St Valery-en-Caux in France on June 12 1940. They continued the fight on the continent in support of the French after the Dunkirk evacuations had been completed, and a flotilla of ships sent to rescue the troops was unable to reach them due to fog and the proximity of German artillery above the town. Pipers from across the world took to their doorsteps at 10am on Friday to perform Heroes Of St Valery, composed by Donald MacLean, who was captured at St Valery and spent four years as a prisoner of war. Pipe major Richard Grisdale, piper to the Queen, played the tribute at Windsor Castle, while the Prince of Wales took the salute from a piper at his Scottish home of Birkhall. Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, said: “On 12 June 1940, after a gallant stand, the 51st Highland Division with supporting arms and services, including elements from English regiments, was forced to surrender to the German army at St Valery-en-Caux on the Normandy coast of France."

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