A SCOTS missionary who gave her life to protect girls from the Holocaust has been remembered in a procession in Hungary.

More than 10,000 people attend the annual March of the Living in Budapest.

The event marks the country’s Holocaust Memorial Day and draws people from across Hungarian society.

Last night attendees remembered the life and work of Jane Haining, the Dumfriesshire woman who died as prisoner 79467 after her attempts to safeguard Jewish schoolgirls led her to her arrest by the Gestapo and imprisonment in Auschwitz.

The only Scot to be commemorated at Yad Vashem in Israel, her name is inscribed on the memorial there near to that of Oskar Schindler, with last night’s event dedicated to her memory.

As matron at a Church of Scotland school in Budapest, she ignored orders to return to Scotland when the Second World War broke out and managed to keep dozens of Jewish youngsters safe for as long as four years, despite living under surveillance. That ended when she was turned in to Nazi authorities by the son-in-law of the school’s cook.

A new book released earlier this month revealed she also helped Jewish women escape Hungary by getting them jobs in the years before she was taken to the concentration camp.

In a letter written after refusing to return to her home country, Haining wrote: “If these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness?”

Speaking in 2017, former pupil Magda Birraux, who boarded at the mixed-faith school, said: “She loved these girls very much and was like a second mother to them.

“Many of them were separated from their parents and so Miss Haining wanted to give them all the love that she could.”

A kilted Scottish Secretary David Mundell addressed the crowds last night, also leading the event after organisers asked him to help mark Haining’s bravery.

Ahead of the visit, the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP planned to visit the Dohany Street Synagogue and join worshippers at the St Columba’s Church of Scotland, which stands next to the former site of the Scottish Mission school where Haining was employed.

Mundell, who also visited the Jane Haining memorial and heritage centre in her birthplace of Dunscore, on Friday, called the recognition “a huge honour and a great privilege”.

Rev Aaron Stevens, minister of St Columba’s Church of Scotland in Budapest, said: “Jane Haining’s service and sacrifice shows that caring for people from different backgrounds in no way compromises our faith.

“In fact, it just might be the fullest expression of it.”