Paris Scots Kirk honours Tartan Pimpernel

The life of a Church of Scotland minister, who rescued 2,000 soldiers and airmen during World War Two, is to be the subject of a play on Saturday, at the Scots Kirk in Paris.

28 January 2020
By Selma Daddi

Rev Dr Donald Caskie, known as Tartan Pimpernel, left Paris after Germans invaded the city during the war. He fled to Marseille where he ran a Seaman’s Mission and helped British and allied soldiers before being betrayed and arrested by the Vichy police.

Banished from Marseille, Reverend Caskie moved to Grenoble to help other soldiers but he was arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to death. His life was saved by a German pastor, who he asked to see when he was in prison. He spent the rest of the war in a Prisoner of War camp, before returning to Scotland where he died in 1983.

The play, Tartan Pimpernel, retells the life of this war hero who was involved in the Pat O’Leary escape route network, one of the most important escape routes during the war. The network was first led by the Scottish Captain Ian Garrow and later by Albert Grévisse who gave his code-name – Pat O’Leary – to the route.

In 1945, Reverend Caskie was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to France during the war. A memorial plague was put up in Fort de la Revère in Èze, near Nice, in his honour last year.

The play, which will be performed at the Scottish church, is supported by the Scottish government.

There will be two performances at the church at 11:00 and 14:00. Tickets are free and can be booked by emailing or calling (+33) 01 48 78 47 94.

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