E-mail Iain


Le Paradis Details

Return to The Royal Scots at Le Paradis May 1940


1RS Route and Locations 10-27 May 1940

Battle of Wavre, R. Dyle

16-21 May 1940 -Fall Gelb

21 May -4 June 1940 -Fall Gelb

26 May Positions

Positions Night of 26/27 May 1940

Positions as far as known noon 27 May 1940, all Companies out of touch with Battalion HQ, latter nearly surrounded by Armoured Fighting Vehicles etc.

1st Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) -  1RS - Battalion Headquarters Bn HQ
1339 Rue de Derrière


Pipe Band Platoon
Defending Bn HQ
1274 Rue de Derrière

2358 Rue Grande-Voie where SS Regimental Commander laid out after being shot by a British sniper. (Sniper in Church Tower approx. 500 yards?)

2nd Battalion The Royal Norfolk Regiment - 2 Norfolk  - Battalion Headquarters - Bn HQ
Creton Farm 506 Chemin de Paradis

Norfolks Locations

Contemporary Photos

  Men of 
The Royal Scots 
April 1940
  Le Paradis Massacre Burial After Burial Prior to re-burial at the Church
    Le Paradis Massacre    
  SS Totenkopf 
La Bassée Canal
SS Totenkopf advance 
on Béthune


 1st Bn The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) and 2nd Bn The Royal Norfolk Regiment were part of 4 Bde, I Corps,BEF  in 1940

3 SS Panzer Division Totenkopf in May 1940

3 Panzer Division (Wehrmacht) (Heer) May 1940

Mai 1940 - 3° Nos villes et villages de Flandre sont occupés. - Sapeurs Pompiers - Fils de France

8th Battalion, The Royal Scots, Le Paradis 1918

An extract of 1/8 RS War Diary

It is a sad irony that the very ground that was fought over by the 1st Royal Scots and 2nd Royal Norfolks in May 1940 had been fought over by the 8th Royal Scots in April 1918, another rear-guard action against a German Offensive, The Battles of the Lys, which was firstly on Merville and Béthune, secondly on Hazebrouck and finally the Ypres Salient and the Channel Ports.
In response to the offensive the 8th Royal Scots were marched up to Mont-Bernanchon* on the 9th April. The next day they were ordered forward to Pacault* where they came under German Artillery fire, sustaining casualties, who are buried in the CWGC Cemetery in Mont-Bernanchon Churchyard. Fallen of The Royal Scots and Royal Norfolks including a large number of undentified British Soldiers from May 1940 are buried alongside them. After dark on the 10th April B Company moved to a position in front of Paradis (near Lestrem) in support of the 7th Gordons who were West of the River Lawe. Heavy fighting on the 11th April pushed back the Gordons and the rest of their Division from the line of the Lawe, and B Company fell back with them holding the German Advance on the line of the railway near Merville.

Extract from Water Supply Map Hazebrouck 1916
Note spelling: Mont Bernenchon, Pacaut*

In the meantime C Company had advanced before dawn that day from Pacault and dug in about 500 yards east of Paradis Church and broke a dangerous German attack which started at 8 am sustaining many losses. A Company meanwhile had moved at about 7 am west of Pacault and dug in about 1,000 yards south-west of C Company. The attack reached them at midday with the Germans establishing themselves in groups of houses nearby. Artillery fire was directed on them and they were brought down by small arms fire from A Company as they moved out into the open. C Company fought off a violent assault at the same time and elements of B Company moved up to reinforce C Company's left flank. This still left both Company's flanks exposed and so the acting CO withdrew them slightly to maintain liaison with the Units on their flanks. By the night of the 11th/12th April it seemed the worst of the offensive had passed, and then just before dawn on the 12th April a tremendous attack was launched along the whole of the line. The Germans broke through on the left and got behind The Royal Scots position, surprising Battalion HQ. A and C Companies though surrounded fought on. A Company crossed La Bassée Canal near Mont-Bernanchon and C Company formed a line with a party of Sappers through Pacault Wood and kept the Germans at Bay until dusk, and then crossed the Canal under cover of darkness, ending the 8th Royal Scots part in fighting in the area that would be fought over again by the 1st Royal Scots twenty two years later.

* Note spelling has changed: Mt. Bernenchon to Mont-Bernanchon, Pacaut to Pacault and Paradis to Le Paradis (locals still say "Paradis", as does Satnav).

The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) WW1 Battalions