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. Our planned memorial will be dedicated to the memory of those who died.
Memorials in France
Ninety-seven died, the majority of them 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 must to do something about this.
This video shows the commemoration ceremony in Le Paradis on the 75th anniversary of the massacre.
Support our campaign for a memorial in Norfolk
What can you do to help? Two things : the most important is to Donate to our campaign. This is vital. The 97 victims deserve this. Their families need it. It is long overdue.
The second thing you can do is add you name to our register of supporters, by emailing Memorial4LeParadisHeroes@gmail.com
To find out more about the campaign for a memorial press here
To find out more about the massacre on this dedicated website press here