THE daughter of a Scottish soldier taken prisoner during what many describe as a largely forgotten Second World War battle has taken part in an 80th anniversary tribute to those involved.

Valery Heywood was named after the battle of St Valéry-en-Caux, where 10,000 mainly Scottish soldiers were captured after being left to defend the port after the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Described by Winston Churchill as the ‘most brutal disaster’ of the war, the 51st Highland Division and their support surrendered on June 12, 1940 as any chance of being evacuated slipped away under heavy German attack.

And in tribute to all those who gave their lives there or were captured and spent the remaining years of the war in POW camps, more than 500 pipers across the world marked the anniversary at 10am on Friday, June 12, by playing the celebrated march, Heroes of St Valéry.

Valery, who lives on the outskirts of Bolton, East Lothian, with husband Peter, received a visit from Lance Corporal Jamie Bell from the Scots Guards, who joined the worldwide tribute by playing the tune in their garden.

She said she was “honoured, surprised and humbled” by the offering.

Valery’s father Ian Hutchon served with 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry as an intelligence trooper during the Second World War, and was taken prisoner at St Valéry-en-Caux, at the age of 23, spending the rest of the war being moved between several POW camps in Poland until the end of the war.

A bank official in Edinburgh, Ian returned to his job after the war and met and married his wife Ethel. They had two children, Sandy and Valery.

Sadly, Ian died at the age of 49 when Valery was just 12 years old.

She said: “Dad was a very bright, intelligent and caring man but he carried things from his experiences in the POW camps. It is a source of sadness to me that we never had the chance to talk about his experiences or the decision to name me after the place where he was taken captive.

“I think he wanted to remind himself that he had survived; he got through it and it inspires me to realise I can get through anything and face any challenge.”

Valery, 67, who worked as a retail manager with Laura Ashley before retiring, said her dad spent six months in hospital after being repatriated because of a back injury caused by being kicked by a guard during his captivity; but, despite health issues, was determined to live every day to the full.

Across the world, the 80th anniversary of the surrender was remembered by pipers as far afield as Peru and Kathmandu.

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales marked the anniversary at Birkhall, his Royal Deeside residence, where he took the salute from a piper and spoke of the valour of those involved in the battle.

Prince Charles said: “On June 12, 1940, after a gallant stand, the 51st Highland Division with supporting arms and services, including elements from English regiments, was forced to surrender to the German army at St Valéry-en-Caux on the Normandy coast of France.

“At 10am on this year’s 80th anniversary, pipers throughout Scotland and further afield were on their doorsteps playing the celebrated march, the Heroes of St Valéry, in honour of the fallen and to remember a battle in which those of the Division displayed the greatest courage and tenacity. We remember all who served and who sacrificed so much.”

The tributes were led by three Scottish Armed Forces charities: Poppyscotland; Legion Scotland; and RCET: Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity.