GUY’S WEDDING TRIBUTE TO WAR HERO GRANDAD

HeadLine: GUY’S WEDDING TRIBUTE TO WAR HERO GRANDAD

The Mirror, 11/12/2000, p7
by SHAUN MILNE & HARRY ARNOLD

GUY Ritchie chose Scotland as the venue for his wedding to Madonna to
honour his war hero grandad.
Major Stewart “Jack” Ritchie won the Military Cross for bravery during
World War One. Tragically, he was killed near Dunkirk in World War Two.
Guy, 32, was determined to pay tribute to his grandfather, who served
with the Seaforth Highlanders regiment.
He and Madonna, 42, will marry in the Highlands at Dornoch Cathedral on
December 22. The reception is expected to be at Skibo Castle.
The director of Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels will wear his
family’s Hunting Macintosh tartan kilt with his grandfather’s
regimental sporran.
Guy’s father John, 71, who also served with the same regiment, said
last night: “The sporran is a bit moth-eaten but Guy is very proud of
what his grandfather did.
“When Guy was eight and his sister, Tabatha, 10, I took them to to see
the war graves.
“Their grandfather never had a grave but they were able to see where he
died and ask what happened. Guy is also aware I was in the army for
eight years, serving in Malaya during the troubles.
“My Great Uncle Sir Archibald Ritchie was a general in World War One
and a Seaforth Highlander as well.
“Guy knows I had a kilt and wore it during my army days.
His decision to get married in Scotland, and in a kilt, is a tribute to
his grandfather and, hopefully, me as well.
“It also shows a close affection for the regiment.”
John says of his daughter-in-law to-be: “I’ve met Madonna quite often.
She is a delightful and talented person and quite homely.”
Guy, who has a baby son, Rocco, with Madonna, attended the Remembrance
Day service at the Cenotaph this year to pay his respects to the war
dead.
His grandfather led a successful attack on the Hindenburg Line in 1918
and was injured in the fearsome battle.
Afterwards, he was given the Military Cross – the third highest award
for bravery in action.
Major Ritchie left the army soon after but was recalled when World War
Two broke out.
The Seaforth Highlanders, as part of the 51st Highland Division, were
ordered by Winston Churchill to dig in at St Valery-en Caux in Normandy
to help the retreat at Dunkirk.
Outnumbered and outgunned by six German Panzer divisions, the
Highlanders fought bravely on.
More than 1,000 soldiers died. Major Ritchie fell in a hail of bullets
on June 12, 1940, trying to set up a defensive position to fight a
desperate last stand.
The next day, his commanding officer surrendered.
Major Ritchie and his fallen comrades were buried in a mass grave by
the Germans. Their bodies were moved to a British Army unmarked grave
in 1945.
His name is carved on to the official Dunkirk memorial.

**



Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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