An Armed Forces charity has announced its new partnership with an educational platform.
On 12th June 1940, days after the mass-evacuations at Dunkirk, 10,000 mainly Scottish soldiers were captured and forced to surrender at the French fishing port of St Valery.
However, Poppyscotland alongside Legion Scotland, British Army’s 51st Brigade, and RCET: Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity, are trying to ensure future generations learn about the men that fought that day.
Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising and Learning at Poppyscotland said: “Last year saw the 80th anniversary of St Valery and we endeavoured to raise public awareness by organising a number of events to commemorate the gallantry of the ‘Forgotten 51st.
“In addition to the virtual tributes of more than 500 pipers around the world, we launched a suite of learning resources tailored to the Scottish curriculum that could help teachers educate students about the Battle.
“Commemorations for the Battle of St Valery will now take place annually.
“Ahead of this year’s anniversary we’re delighted to announce our partnership with Twinkl Scotland and to launch our new collection of St Valery education resources.
“The Twinkl Scotland platform allows us to reach an even wider audience of schools and other education providers, and means that we can continue to teach the importance of remembering St Valery and learn from its legacy.”
Through Iona’s own research she uncovered that her great-grandfather was part of 51st Highland Division, fought at St Valery and was subsequently captured.
On her discovery, she said: “My great-grandfather was Neil MacKinnon he was a Major in the Royal Artillery which was part of the 51st Highland Division.
“He was captured at St Valery and held as a PoW for five years.
“Thankfully he returned home in 1945, but it makes me sad to think of all of those who didn’t come back to their families.
“The resources from Poppyscotland taught me that we need to remember everybody that suffered during the war, from the men that lost their lives, were captured, came back home and their families.
“I’ve learnt so much about my family that I didn’t know before and I think they are all heroes and should never be forgotten.”
Jonathan Seaton, CEO and Co-founder of Twinkl added: “We are pleased that Twinkl Scotland, Twinkl Alba and Poppyscotland Learning have come together to create a range of resources in English and Gaelic to highlight the legacy of the 51st Highland Division.
“These accessible resources use personal accounts, poetry, songs, and a range of classroom activities to help learners understand the events leading up to the Battle of St Valery and the experiences of soldiers.
“We hope that these resources will help pupils learning about the event to reflect on and remember those who were there.”