95% of people with poppy in Facebook profile think St Valery was Amy Winehouse song

It’s been 80 years since the heroic evacuation and Britain’s finest hour of Dunkirk. Characterised by derring-do and the vim of Winnie Churchill as he got home every brave fighting Tommy from the sands of France in rowboats, commemorated in film and music as the eternal Brexit.

Oh no, sorry, it’s actually the 80th anniversary of the surrender of the Highland Division at St Valery En Caux. Whether you’re of the opinion that it was just due to unfortunate circumstances involving a lot of fog, an unsuitable landing and Rommel’s Panzers that struck with incredible speed, or it was due to inept British imperial planning, the old ‘No Great Mischief” philosophy that saw Highland troops as expendable, and Churchill generally not giving a shit, there’s no question that not many people know about this epoch making event in 1940 that saw thousands of Highland troops lose their lives or be marched hundreds of miles to Prisoner of War camps in Nazi Germany.

This lack of awareness stretches to even those self professed Poppy Patriots in the Highlands who never let an opportunity to stick a Lest We Forget meme up when they aren’t being triggered by Greta Thunberg.

When we asked Tain local Gordon Taylor who has had his poppy ribbon on his profile pic since 2014, if he’d heard of St Valery, he started belting out late noughties earworm Valerie, made famous by Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson “Why don’t you come on over Vaelrieeeeee, love that song remember boogying down to it at the Dangleberries last year at Bella. Support the troops. Help for Heroes mate. All Lives Matter.”

Military historian Angus William said “We see this type of ignorance all the time. Other than the big ‘victories’, most people don’t care about the messy side of war. It’s almost as if these folk are just engaged in some type of virtue signalling tied into their own political view and genuinely don’t give a toss about the young men who fought, died and suffered in France at the hands of the Nazis, and also don’t even question that like most troops they got let down by their government. The loss at St Valery En Caux was a major happening for the Highlands, and it deserves to be remembered with dignity but also a hard realisation at the capriciousness of governments towards the people under their command. No matter who wins, its the little guy who loses, so I’ll be having a wee blast on the Great Highland Bagpipes in honour of the soldiers today.”

“Also I’m 76 but even I know Valerie is a Zutons song”