‘We were retaken four times by Germans but our bluff of speaking Gaelic worked each time and we were sent on our way’

– Ginger Wilson, 1940

How did Gaelic help three men from the 8th (The Argyllshire) Battalion successfully escape from France to Britain?

Private William Kemp, Corporal Sandy MacDonald and Lance Corporal James ‘Ginger’ Wilson were captured after St Valery in June 1940. They escaped and changed into civilian clothes before being caught again. When questioned by their German captors they spoke Gaelic, their native language, and insisted they were Ukrainian. Since Ukraine was under Russian control and not yet at war with Germany, and the German soldiers could not tell the difference between Ukrainian and Gaelic, the men were released. They made it back to Britain.

Main Image:
Sergeant William Kemp and Lance Corporal Sandy MacDonald of the 8th (The Argyllshire) Battalion received Military Medals for their successful escape from France.

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