Private J. S. Beattie

 

National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3307/59

 

Name: 2880258 Pte. Beattie J.S.

Unit: 5th Gordon Highlanders, 51st (Highland) Division

Captured: 12th June 1940.

Finally Escaped: 5th July 1940.

Left: Gibraltar, 1st October 1941.

Arrived: U.K. Gourock, 6th October 1942.

Army Service: 3 years.

Peacetime Profession: Labourer.

Private Address: Badintoy, Portlathen, Aberdeen.

 

I was first captured at ST. VALERY on 12 JUNE 40. We were marched for two days and then taken by lorries to DOULLENS. Thence another week on foot through ST. POL towards BETHUNE. On 22 JUNE, at DIAVAL near ST. POL, Pte. DONALD (S/P.G. 468) and I slipped away and found a farm, where we were provided with civilian clothes and burned our battle-dress and papers. We then made for LILLERS and, after getting some bicycles, went on through DOULLENS, AMIENS, MONDIDIER and BEAUVAIS (avoiding PARIS) to MEHUN. Here we were recaptured, taken to VIERZON and next morning to BOURGES. Here we remained for 3 weeks and were employed on sorting out clothes, of which those worn out were taken out by lorry and dumped. We bribed the driver (100 francs) to smuggle us out of the barracks this way. This ruse succeeded and, after crossing the river CHER, we went on SOUTH, resting for 2 months on a farm at LA CHATRE. We were eventually arrested by Gendarmes and taken to GUERET, later to PARANTIGAT and finally in Oct. to MARSEILLES.

 

After a spell at FORT ST. JEAN we were all moved, on 7 JAN 41, to ST. HIPPOLYTE. On 16 APR I left in a conducted party and crossed the Pyrenees the following day. I spent 4 months in Spanish concentration camps.

 

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