Brigadier Charles Grant, ‘The Road to St. Valéry’
Charles Grant was commissioned into the Queen’s Own Highlanders in 1968. He commanded of 51st Highland Brigade in Perth and his last appointment was as Director Land Warfare. He retired from the Army in June 2002 to take up the appointment of Chief Executive of the Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association. He is a Trustee of the Army Museums Ogilby Trust and is the historian for the 51st Highland Division website. The Road to St. Valéry tells the story of those first days of June which ultimately led to the surrender of the 51st Highland Division at St. Valéry-en-Caux on 12 June 1940. The 51st Highland Division landed in Le Havre in January 1940 as part of the British Expeditionary Force [B.E.F.] On 28th March they were separated from the B.E.F. and under French command deployed into the Maginot line. On 20th May the Division was taken out of the line and moved to Étain and Varennes where they learnt that the Germans had broken through the French lines, separating them from the rest of the B.E.F. A 300 mile road and rail move brought the Division to a position overlooking the River Bresle near Abbeville. As the B.E.F. retired on Dunkirk the Division would to fight with the French Army as part of the French IX Corps and initially to hold a line north west of Abbeville to the coast.
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