Comments

1) Programme entitled 'Summer 1940-Part One: The Distant War June 1st-19th' broadcast by Channel Television presented by Alastair Layzell. It covers the beginning of June 1940 when Britain had been at war for 9 months, peoplewere being encouraged to spend time in the Channel Islands but the war took a dramatic turn with the Germans pushing through Europe, background given on the Channel Islands, in Guernsey 1940 the bailiff was Victor Carey who was elderly and so Ambrose Sherwill, the attorney general, was given the job of running the island whilst Alexander Coutanche was in charge in Jersey. The Lieutenant Governor of Jersey Major General Harrison wrote to the War Office saying the island was virtually defenceless, uncertainty of what to do, some air raid precautions had been taken with the establishment of the Air Raid Patrol, everyone was issued with gas masks, realisation that war was on its way to the islands. On the morning of June 12th the War Cabinet decided to defend the islands but reversed the decision by the afternoon deciding on demilitarisation, the first contact with war was the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from St Malo. Islanders were asked to assemble yachts and Coutanche and the Commodore of St Helier Yacht Club W S Le Masurier organised crews to picking up the troops including Reg Nicolle and Bill Coom who talk of the enthusiasm for the operation, the blowing up of the loch gates, french citizens offering money to get on the ships, the courage of british nurses refusing to leave their ambulances and the terrible weather on the way home. Extract from Churchill speech telling about the situation in France. Activity at the airport with planes refuelling, Jersey Airways suspending services and helping the RAF, evacuating the staff and Charles de Gaulle refuelling in the island. War and Home Office still talking and life went on in Jersey. The Home Office invited islands to send a representative to England to discuss the possible evacuation of the islands. Jurat Edgar Dorey was sent and he and Markbreiter called the Ministry of Shipping in search of boats and when returning was given a letter telling the Lieutenant Governor to leave. The decision to demiltarise was announced in the States and the evacuation was to begin. 2) Programme called 'Summer 1940-Part 2: Evacuation June 20th-28th' broadcast by Channel Television presented by Alastair Layzell. References to the dilemma of evacuation, queuing to register at the Town Hall and the fact people changed their minds, the calming of the people by the Bailiff who said his family were staying and condemnation by Jurat Dorey for those leaving. Evacuees tell of their journey to Southampton and then to the north of England. The St John Ambulance in Guernsey helped with the sick and old. In Sark Dame Sybil Hathaway encouraged the inhabitants to stay on the island. In Alderney Judge Frederick French called a meeting where his residents decided to leave. George Baron tells of leaving on the spur of the moment and the St John Ambulance personnel from Guernsey went to Alderney to assist in the evacuation. Some of the evacuation was carried out by Jersey Airways as the airport was besieged by people trying to leave. There was a calm after the lieutenant governors left. At the Jersey Airport Bob Lawrence talks of breaking up the navigation equipment and sending it to Southampton. The Controlling Committee was set up in Guernsey and a member, Raymond Falla, talks about the evacuation of cattle from Alderney. On June 28th undecided whether the islands were defended the germans undertook air raids and eye witnesses describe seeing the air raids in Jersey and Guernsey leading to 44 deaths, 33 in Guernsey, 11 in Jersey. The BBC announced that day that the Channel Islands had been demilitarised ten days before but it was too late.

Reference

L/D/25/L/57

Date

June 19th 1980 - June 26th 1980

Names

Baron, George
Carey, Victor
Lawrence, Bob
Sherwill, Ambrose James
Controlling Committee
States of Guernsey
Falla, Raymond
French, Frederick, Judge
Hathaway, Dame Sybil, Dame of Sark
Ministry of Shipping
War Office
Home Office
Markbreiter, C G
St John's Ambulance Brigade
Dorey, Edgar, Jurat
Churchill, Winston
Jersey Airport
de Gaulle, Charles
Jersey Airways Limited
Coom, Bill
Le Masurier, William Smythe
St Helier Yacht Club
Nicolle, Reg
Harrison, James Murray Roberts, Major General, Lieutenant Governor of Jersey, 1939 - 1940
Jersey Evening Post
Air Raid Patrol
Layzell, Alastair
Coutanche, Lord Alexander Moncrieff, 1892 - 1973, Bailiff of Jersey, 1935-1961
Channel Television

Keywords

ambulances | bombing raids | Air Raids | evacuees | demilitarisation | evacuations | Royal Air Force | Aeroplanes | Airports | Boats | Yachts | yacht clubs | lieutenant governors | Bailiffs | gas masks | air raid precautions | broadcasts | televisions | Occupation | Second World War | sound | sound recordings | Southampton | Town Hall | St Malo

Dimensions

1 sound cassette

Language

English

Level of description

file

Context:

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