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Liberation to Coronation Oral History Recordings. The Liberation to Coronation Project took place in 2004-2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of Liberation. A number of islanders were interviewed about their experiences in the period 1945-1953, from Liberation to Coronation.

Reference C/D/P/P1
Names Jersey Heritage Trust
Keywords history | oral history | sound recordings | sound
Category C/D-Other Committees, Tribunals etc. appointed by the States
Places Jersey
Level of description Series


C/D/P/P1This item»
C/D/P/P1/21 Sound recording of John Day speaking about the Occupation and the years after. He was interviewed on 18/02/2004 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mr Day speaks about his families decision to leave the island following the occupation after which he lived in southampton. He recounts memories of the war including D Day, bombings, gas masks being issued, rationing along with his fathers job of building spitfires. He also describes his feelings on V E day along with hearing about Jerseys liberation and his families return to the islands following this. This involves recounting his emotions upon his return and how the island had changed in his absence. Mr Day's memories post war include fuel rationing along with his fathers employment and his education which included travelling back and forth between Southampton and Jersey, which was his first experince of flying. He describes his manufacturing of cans with his father who specialised in metalwork, following school which was used for the Dairy Indutsry. He describes the industry in deatil as it was in Jersey and how it has changed and describes the various dairies which existed in the island at that time. Similarly, he recounts how his buisness was impacted following the introduction of bottles and how he and his father had to adapt to this which involved working in hardware repair, coach building along with maintenance and repair of cars and motorcycles. His memories post war include his marriage, property and his memories of what St Helier was like at the time. Morover, Mr Day describes the International Road Race, the first of which took place in 1947 along with the Bouley Bay hill climb and the making of his own cars used for racing. He concludes with his memories of the coronation of Queen Elzabeth II. 18 February 2004
C/D/P/P1/22 Sound recording of Basil de Carteret speaking about the Occupation and the years after. He was interviewed on 08/11/2004 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mr De Carteret speaks about his arival in Jersey following his evacuation from France. He then goes on to desrcibe the occupation of Jersey which involved any service personal having to register their names at the town hall. This resulted in his deportation from the island to a prisoner of war camp in Cherbourg, France for 6 months before being transported to Germany. He then recounts his memories of being liberated by the United States returning to England, V E day and discovering the liberation of Jersey upon his release which he then returned to after which he was responsible for supervising German Prisoners and the removal of various weapons such as mines which had been installed during the occupation. Mr Carteret describes the mood of the Jersey people after the liberation along with describing the continuation of rationing, his marriage and subsequent employment. Moreover, he describes travelling to Switzerland by car and eventually purchasing a property in Green Street in Jersey using a States Loan which had been newly introduced at the time. He continues by recounting the Battle of flowers returning in 1951 for the first time after the and being based at the avenue for the first time along with the International Road Race. He also describes what he did for entertainment post war which include The Forum Cinema, West Park Pavillion and the various holiday parks and cabaret acts. 8 November 2004
C/D/P/P1/24 Sound recording of Edward de Gruchy speaking about the Occupation and the years after. He was interviewed on 25/02/2005 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mr De Gruchy speaks about watching the Allied troops ariving in Jersey on liberation day which he describes as ''the greatest day of our lives'' when recounting the islanders feelings and sense of freedom following the liberation. He describes his working life in agriculture in which he looked after cattle and grew various crops and describes how island life was affected and how long it took to return to normal following the end of the war.This included the exporting and importing of goods. He also remebers the process of growing the crops and how this was eventually mechanised along with cattle shows returning post war such as the one in Trinity where he recounts winning a prize. With regards to his spare time Mr De Gruchy descibes his involvement with the church, youth work and hosting guests at his home. Morover, he describes becoming a local preacher in 1944 for which he worked until 1990 in which he recounts various events that were organised for the Methodist Church. Moreover, he describes Trinity post war along with various commuity events that took place in the parish. As a farmer he remebers examples of Foot and Mouth disease and the impact this had on agriculture as well as the colorado beetles. He then recounts the formation of the Jersey Milk Marketing Board which impacted his work and also talks about tourismin Jersey post war. Similarly, he describes various holidays both to Guernsey and to England following the war along with the return of The Battle of Flowers.He also recounts his memories of the International Road Race and various visits from the Royal Family one of which involved him being presented by Prince Charles at the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation. Mr De Gruchy goes on to describe his memories of the death of King George VI of whom he had attended his corronation. Similarly he concludes by remebering the corronation in 1953 for Elizabeth II. 25 February 2005
C/D/P/P1/28 Sound recording of Mavis England speaking about the Occupation and the years after. She was interviewed on 01/10/2004 by Marleen Hacquoil for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mrs England speaks about the end of the occupation when she was 26 years old. She recounts the memory of the liberation which she watched from the Royal Square where she describes the soldiers throwing various things to the public watching. During the war she speaks about knitting items of clothing such as gloves for people and shares an anecdote of giving a pair to the postman. She did not ask for payment but was often giving things such as milk which relates to her talking about the lack of food available due to rationing (which continued after the war) but also the poor quality of the food they had such as the bread. Moreover, she then describes the Red Cross food parcels and shares memories of the international road race which includes the death of some of the spectators due to an accident at Bel Royal. Furthermore, she remebers the death of King George VI and the subsequent coronation of Queen Elizabath I. She also shares a story of a friend who had hidden a radio during the occupation and recounts hearing the famous speech by Winston Churchill in which he said ''our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed to-day.'' She continues by describing the difficulties following the war despite the liberation in which rationing was still present,the reliance on doing own farming and then talks about her wedding in 1952. She concludes by talking about the introduction of the old age pension and the demonstrations that take place by some in opposition to this. 1 October 2004
C/D/P/P1/29 Sound recording of Janet Ferbrache speaking about the Occupation and the years after. She was interviewed on 07/10/2004 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mrs Ferbrache speaks about leaving Jersey with her family in 1940 during the occupation where they moved to Coventary where she experieinced the Blitz after which they moved to Denbighy in North Wales for the remainder of the war. After the war ended she recounts returing to Jersey following its liberation on the ''Arch Angel'' ship after which her father openied Bel Royal Motors. Morover, she recounts her parents longing to return to Jersey and celebrating V E day whilst in North Wales. Once in Jersey she remembers reuniting with the rest of her family who had stayed in Jersey and describes her and her families feelings following the liberation. She recounts returning to her home which had been torn apart by Germans who had used it as a canteen among other uses after which she lived with her Grandparents whilst it were repaired. Moroever, she talks about her education and returning to school following the occupation where she attended JCG. Mrs Ferbrache talks also about how the rationing continued following the war and spoke about the Red Cross boxes. With regards to entertainment she describes her love of drama and performing in various plays and singing in the choir whilst also talking about visiting the West Park Pavillion and The Forum Cinema. Moreover, she describes attending the first Battle of Flowers following the war which she was involved in and the International Road Race. With regards to agriculture she remembers it increasing following her return to the island and remebers being involved with the harvesting of tomatoes. She also discussed looking on the beaches for Colorado Beetles and visiting the remains of the fortifications left behind by the Germans such as the bunkers. She concludes by remembering being told of Kind George VI death whilst at school. 7 October 2004
C/D/P/P1/31 Sound recording of Jill Gould, née O’Neil, speaking about the Occupation and the years after. She was interviewed on 07/02/2005 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mrs Gould speaks about the liberation of the island in which she was 11 years old. She recalls going into town to listen to Churchills speech and the following day witnessing the arrival of the troops and also celebrating outside of the Pomme d'or Hotel. Moreover, she goes on to discuss her eductaion at JSG and recounts changes to the school before and after the war in which the Germans had used it as a hospital. Her father run his own shop which specialised in sports goods as well as being a taboconist with Mrs Gould also reflecting on her interest in sport with memories of watching the Murrati, snooker finals and also participating in sport in which she remembers going to Guernsey following the war to play Hockey. She goes on to talk about training to become a teacher in London following her complettion of school in Jersey in1951 and it was in London where she heard of the death of King George VI. She also recounts witnessing Queen Elizabeth II coronation in which she also discusses hearing the news that Sir Edmund Hilary had reached the summit of Mount Everest. Furthermore, she discussing how the town has changed along with what she would do for entertainment post war which included attending a youth club, participating in drama, guides, sport and attending dances. 7 February 2005
C/D/P/P1/35 Sound recording of Robin Hacquoil speaking about the Occupation and the years after. He was interviewed on 16/10/2004 by Marleen Hacquoil for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mr Hacquoil speaks about the liberation and post liberation events. He begins by talking about remebering the occupation begining when he was a boy at St Peters Primary School. When the war ended he joined Victoria college and states describes his memories about the end of the war, the reaction of the German soldiers in Jersey and awaiting liberation day. He also speaks about the German soldiers remaining for a time in Jersey to remove some of the fortifications and the failed attempt to initially try and remove the underground fortifications. He mentions the removal of the railway lines installed by the Germans and various weapons that were removed also. Morover, he talks about scavanging for various mementos of the war at locations such as the airport where he recounts a story of a detnoator being set off which led to the closure of the airport to the public at that time. The post year wars are described as being particularly difficult which was heightened considering the winter of 1947 which Mr Hacquoil describes as having the heaviest snow fall he has experieinced. He then goes on to recount the Battle of Flowers returning in 1947 where he describes how it differs from todays event. Similarly he remembers the International Road Races and the tragedy of the several deaths that took place during one particular year. He then goes on to recount the 1949 outbreak of polio and the scare that this generated on the island. Mr Hacquoil also talks about the introduction of social security and the controversy that this generated from certain members of the public. Returning to his memories of the occupation itself he recounts the rationing, being cut off from supplies from france following the D day Landings and then post war talks about recieving Red Cross parcels. He also recounts memories of '' The Welsh Girls'' and the picking of tomatoes whilst also comparing this help with previous labour forces he had experienced coming to Jersey. 16 October 2004
C/D/P/P1/36 Sound recording of Michael Halliwell speaking about the Occupation and the years after. He was interviewed on 21/01/2005 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mr Halliwell speaks about his memories of Liberation day and V E day. He was at boarding school when he recounts hearing Winston Churchills speach over the radio which is when he became aware that the island was soon to be liberated. Moreover, he discusses reuniting with his father who hadn't seen in 5 years who had remained in Jersey as a surgeon following his evacuation from the island. Returning to discussing the start of the occupation Mr Halliwell remembers being evacuated from Jersey to go and live with his grandparents in England with his mother which is where he attended boarding school in Oxford. He recounts experiencing bombings and later attending university (which was later after the liberation) where he transfered to Germany for his studies. He describes post war Germany and describes how the impact of the war had devastated the country and its people. He recounts his travel back to Jersey from England and upon returning to Jersey he remembers ''looting'' for memorabilia. He recounts his fathers responsibilities in Jersey and also talks about his fathers helping of a Russian prisoner of war who he allowed to stay at his home whilst also discussing how the population of Jersey reacted to the occupation including after the liberation. He went on to discuss ''building a new Europe'' and the responsibility the people of both Jersey and England felt with chosing to look forward. He discusses his career working for the Church of England along with experiences teaching and working in Germany for a period where he discusses ''the rebirth of Germany''. Moroever, he discusses the increase in tourism in Jersey post war and how it changed following his return. He discusses the International Road Race and The Battle of Flowers along with memories of Battle of Britain events, The death of King George VI, the Coronation and the Silver Jubilee. 21 January 2005
C/D/P/P1/41 Sound recording of Trevor Hodgskin speaking about the Occupation and the years after. He was interviewed on 06/10/2004 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mr Hodgskin speaks about arriving in Jersey in 1935 when his father came to the island to start a business, Jersey Motor Panels. He recounts the weeks leading up to the liberation including the German soldiers reaction to their loss of the war. He talks aboout his education and was still at school when the liberation took place. Morover, Mr Hodgskin recalls the memory of hearing about the end of the war with a radio his family had hidden from the Germans which included Winston Churchills famous speech. He shares his memory of watching the troops arriving in Jersey on Liberation Day which he watched from Mount Bingham. He describes the days following including the clearing up of numerous German fortifications and his exploration of some of the German Bunkers. He then goes on to describe the royal visit which took place following the Liberation and also his employment working with his father at Jersey Motor Panels. He recounts, following the clearing up of the fortifications the germans being captured as prisoners of war. Furthermore, he describes taking part in the Bouley Bay hill climb in which he came in second place. He also described auctions that took place of various German items including cars of which Mr Hodgskin bought a Mercedes which he used for the hill climb. With relation to motor racing he then goes on to talk about watching the Internatioanl Road Races. He describes his love of the beach and of swimming in which he was a member of the Jersey Swimming Club growing up. The Battle of Flowers is discussed being at Springfield before moving to the avenue whilst also mentioning an increase in tourism post war and also agriculture. With regards to entertainment Mr Hodgskin discusses going to the cinema, such as The Forum and West Cinema whilst also mentioning frequenting West Park Pavillion as well as other dance halls such as the one at Jersey Sports Stadium. He goes on to discuss the death of King George VI along with the coronation of Elizabeth II. 4 October 2006
C/D/P/P1/42 Sound recording of Jessie Holley speaking about the Occupation and the years after. She was interviewed on 18/02/2005 by Marleen Hocquoil for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mrs Holley speaks about the outbreak of the war when she was 18 years old in Jersey where she heard the news over the radio. She speaks about her husband leaving for England to work for several years before he could be accepted for the Navy. Moreover, she states that she was on holiday in Southhampton at the time of the occupation so decided to stay in Engalnd so was not present in Jersey at the time of the occupation. She also details the experieince of numerous air raids and taking cover in bomb shelters. She details her return to Jersey in 1945 where she describes the continuation of the rationing post war in which she describes the application process she had to go through to be allowed back into the island. Morover, she details the return of The Battle of Flowers on the avenue and also the final Battle of flowers before the war in which she took part. Mrs Holley also describes watching the International Road Races which took place post war, the first of which took place in 1947. She describes her surprise at seeing the German fortifications upon her return including the underground hospital where her mother recounted seeing prisoners of war including women and children.Furthermore, she recounts the increase in tourism post war and speaks about a guest house which she ran briefly. 18 February 2005
C/D/P/P1/51 Sound recording of Nance Amy Le Gresley, née Le Selleur, speaking about the Occupation and the years after. She was interviewed on 13/11/2004 by Geraldine des Forges for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mrs Le Gresley speaks about the outbreak of war in which she was 19 years old and attending a private school in St Martins. She talks about leaving the island in order to serve as a nurse in England so was not present in the island at the time of the occupation. She talks about being based in Bristol where she completed her training where she witnessed The Blitz. Moreover, she talks about being qualified shortly before V E day. She describes flying into the island where she talks about seeing the German fortifications and rationing which had continued post war including that of fuel. She talks about the treatment of the prisoners of war kepy in jersey as a source of labour and how the island changed post occupation. She goes on to discuss the feeling of the locals towards those returning her marriage in 1947 and the running of her own shop and finally taking up a position at the Jersey hospital as a sister. She expands upon this by discussing how the hospital differed then to how it is now. Furthermore, she discusses the removal of some of the fortifications including the removal and fear of mines. She then goes on to recount her experineces running her own business prior to working at the General Hospital which she ran with her husband. In addition she discusses the changes underwent by the States of Jersey following the liberation and the increase in tourism she noticed from 1947 onwards. She also discusses the return of The Battle of Flowers and its location change from Springfield to the avenue. Similarly, with regards to entertainment Miss Le Gresley discusses watching the International Road Race as well as places such as the West Park Pavillion. She discusses the death of King George VI and the subsequent coronation of Queen Elizabeth II before talking about her parents occupations before and after the war. 13 November 2004
C/D/P/P1/56 Sound recording of Luke Le Moignan speaking about the Occupation and the years after. He was interviewed on 19/02/2005 by Marleen Hacquoil for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mr Le Moignan speaks about the start of the Occupation in which he was 17 years old. He witnessed the Germans first arrival and recounts the use of explosives being used in town due to the false belief there was ammunition there resulting in around 10 deaths which was because of the confusion surrounding whether the island was fortified or not. Moreover, he discusses the decision the public made prior to the Germans arrival as to either evacuate or stay, the latter of which he decided upon, remaining on the island. He details an injury he sustained when riding a motorcycle which resulted in him staying in hospital for 2 years. Moreover he discusses the conditions inside the hospital and praises the efforts of the doctors and the nurses. Mr Le Moignan also talks about the house he was living in which included German soldiers living there also who allowed them to divide the house. He talks about his impressions of the equipment/technology that the Germans had brought with them which he remembers being impressed by. Aditionally, he details several examples of ways in which he and other would rebel against the German soldiers and the fact that telecommunications had been cut off completley. He describes the end of the Occupation, the celebrations on the island along with the work to return the island to normal following the war. Finally, he talks about his memories of West Park Pavillion and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. 19 February 2005
C/D/P/P1/63 Sound recording of Maureen Mannion speaking about the Occupation and the years after. She was interviewed on 26/01/2005 by Stuart Nicolle for the Liberation to Coronation Oral History Project. Mrs Mannion speaks about Liberation day in which she states that she was in Manchester at the time and speaks of her mothers joy who was in Jersey at the time. Mrs Mannion had been evacuated prior to the occupation and returned in 1946. She describes the journey back to the island by train and then by boat. She also recounts her feelings upon returning to Jersey and describes some of the changes including the German fortifications and the sea wall. Moreover she discusses the increase of tourism following the war and the height of Jerseys tourism industry. She talks about her apprenticeship as a hairdressor at a business called ''Leo's'' where she mentions that they experienced many visits from the stars of the day. Mrs Mannion also talks about the International Road Race along with what she would do for leisure including ballroom dancing and the Battle of Flowers of which she discusses the return of following the war. Aditionally she discusses attending West Park Pavillion and the various cinemas that existed on the island at that time. She goes on to talk about the rationing which continued post war. She talks about her marriage, aged 20 in 1951 in St Aubins. She goes on to discuss the visit from the Royal family which took place shortly following the liberation and also the introduction of social security which resulted in controversey from some of the population. However, she states that her father was very in favour of social security and also discusses her memories of the death of King George VI and concludes with memories of celebrating the coronation of the Queen in Peoples Park. 26 January 2005