Le Paradis Memorial Campaign

6th November 2018

Keith Simpson has become a founding supporter of a campaign for a memorial in Norfolk to the heroes of Le Paradis.

Support Our Campaign: A Memorial in Norfolk to the heroes of Le Paradis

Why is there no memorial in Norfolk to the sacrifice of these Dunkirk heroes?

The successful evacuation of more than 300,000 troops from Dunkirk in May 1940 was the cornerstone of our eventual victory in WWII. It was made possible by the selfless defence of the Dunkirk perimeter by troops who knew they would not be rescued. One battlefield centred on the villages of Le Paradis and Lestrem. Here, detachments from the Royal Norfolks and the Royal Scots fought the enemy to a standstill, inflicting heavy losses. They surrendered only when they ran out of ammunition. As POWs they were entitled to all the protection of the Geneva Convention. Instead they were massacred by their Waffen SS opponents, machine gunned to the ground and finished off with pistols and bayonets – now known as the Le Paradis Massacre.

The fight for justice

Ninety-seven died, the majority from Royal Norfolks. However, against all the odds two survived and led the successful post-war campaign to bring to justice the officer responsible for the massacre. He was found guilty of war crimes and executed in 1949. The massacre, the courage and the sacrifice are still remembered by the French and there are several memorials in Le Paradis and Lestrem to those who died. However, there is no permanent memorial in Norfolk to these heroes. We need to do something about this.

Support our campaign for a memorial in Norfolk


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