Account of the demilitarisation of the Channel Islands and the bombing of St Helier

Reference: A/F/4

Date: June 21st 1940 - June 28th 1940

Loyal address to the King, 1939 and the Royal message regarding the removal of military forces from the Channel Islands

Reference: B/A/W12/1

Date: September 16th 1939 - June 25th 1940

Message from King George VI to the Bailiffs of Jersey and Guernsey concerning the withdrawal of the armed forces

Reference: D/AP/AE/14

Date: 1940 - 1940

Lieutenant-Governors statement 'Island to be Demilitarised'

Reference: L/C/03/A/13/1

Date: June 19th 1940 - June 19th 1940

Letter and transcription from Louisa Maud d'Authreau, 62, Don Road, St Helier to Christine Maud Kuhn [née d'Authreau], concerns the evacuation of the army and civilians from Jersey, the state of the Island and her financial affairs

Reference: L/C/169/A/9

Date: June 23rd 1940 - June 23rd 1940

Letter from Dorothy Phyllis Bree, née Heath of 1, Hillside Villa, Bellozanne Road, St Helier to 'Marjorie, Leon and John' giving an account of the Island just before occupation including details of the demilitarisation, evacuation, speculation whether Germany will invade, food, evacuation of St Malo and family news

Reference: L/C/250/A1/1

Date: 1940 - 1940

Series of telegrams to the Major General Harrison, Lieutenant Governor of Jersey relating to the evacuation of the Island and the withdrawal of the Forces and the Lieutenant Governor; includes telegrams from the Commander in Chief, Portsmouth, the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, the Home Office and Searail

Reference: L/C/55/B/3

Date: June 16th 1940 - June 20th 1940

Envelope with the war cabinet's decision to demilitarise the Island of Jersey handwritten on the back, from Major General Percival, written down by Lieutenant Governor Harrison - not dated

Reference: L/C/55/B/9

Date: June 19th 1940 - June 19th 1940

Letter from E H Willis, Hailey, North Road, Sherborne, Dorset to Major General Harrison; relating to the Parliamentary Debate of the House of Commons, 31/07/1940, which debated the demilitarisation and subsequent invasion and occupation of the Channel Islands. Includes a printed copy of the Official Report of the debate

Reference: L/C/55/C/1

Date: July 31st 1940 - August 29th 1941

Master Copy of sound recording L/D/25/L/16. 1) Mrs M R Ward, Deputy Head of Bel Royal School, recounting her memories of the evacuation of the islanders of Jersey in 1940. Talks of the assumption that the Channel Islands would be insignificant and left alone, turning of war against the allies started worries, demilitarisation of the island, bulk evacuation organised with panic ensuing in the registration of names and trying to leave, States made public declaration to remain at helm leading to calm. 2) Mrs Betty Remon, a 10 year old at the time, telling her memories of the German occupation including impressions of the german troops, school and german lessons with Fraulein Blochlinger, a Swiss National, and the older girls refusing to learn, difficulties of the lack of books, clothes, shoes leading to improvisation, scarcity of food and fuel, leaving school in March 1945 and freedom on Liberation Day in the Royal Square. 3) Mr Denis Remon, who was attending De La Salle College, remembers being arrested in February 1945 for membership of the Boy Scouts and sabotage, he describes the prison in Gloucester Street and those inside, the food received , getting a message to his parents, being taken for interrogation at Silvertide, Havre des Pas the Headquarters of the German Police, the Chelsea Hotel being used as overspill for the prison, an escape attempt, luck that D-Day had taken place and he could not be transferred to Germany, being released and liberation.

Reference: L/D/25/L/16/1

1) Talk by Stanhope Landick, school teacher from 1935, on education to the Channel Islands Occupation Society. Introduction by the Channel Islands Occupation Society President. Talks about his time at St Ouen's Central School under Mr A A H Downerat the start of the occupation, moving to the Intermediate School in Brighton Road in September 1941, his memories of St Ouen including the lack of nourishment for the pupils, Mr Downer's decision to start teaching german, experience of the Germans, a father of a pupil being shot dead for being out after curfew and the execution fo Francois Scornet, question of teaching german, the problem of heating, health of pupils, sport, talks of pupils that he remembers that are prominent in island life, an article that he had written, the demilitarisation of the Channel Islands and the evacuation, the actions of the Bailiff, Alexander Coutanche, men of military agebeing examined, books about education during the occupation, the story of Louisa Gould and Harold Le Druillenec, the States being formed into the Superior Council, the Education Committee, the air raid and arrival of the Germans, memories of other people, soup taken around schools, selling of salt water, milk for children, fundraisers for the Children's Benefit Fund, the visit of Graf von Schmettow in 1965 and a visit to the graves at Howard Davis Park, how they felt about von Schmettow, a meeting with Alexander Coutanche in 1970, making german compulsory, Victoria College, members of the Education Committee, visits by german officers, prize giving, raising of the school leaving age to 15, number of people who were in education during the occupation , the ease of getting out of the island after the occupation but difficulty in getting back in and the confiscation of radios. Questions about the hostages that were taken by the Germans, those who taught german, school children's diet, a particular teacher, Victoria College, a poem he wrote about the SS Vega and the Red Cross. Dixie Landick then talks about his life, his job of translating for the Germans, being involved as a translator for Graf von Schmettow he came to Jersey in 1965 and was interviewed by Channel Television, explaining how the interview took place. He plays the interview in which Graf von Schmettow answers questions concerning why he became a soldier, his thoughts on the Nazi party, how he came to be in the Channel Islands, his expectations of the local population, slave workers working for Organisation Todt on the fortifications, deportations, the refusal of a surrender proposal, consequences of German victory and what made him decide to come back to the Channel Islands. 2) Noises from the working of a mill (?)-with photographs being taken.

Reference: L/D/25/L/34

Mrs M Bird, Past Vice-President of the Channel Islands Occupation Society (Guernsey) and Ex President of the Woman's Institute delivering a speech entitled 'Life on the Domestic Front and Life in General during the Occupation' delivered to the Channel Islands Occupation Society (Jersey) and the Channel Islands Family History Society. Kept diaries during occupation which the talk is mainly based upon. Was a housewife and so had to cope with life at home. Talk includes references concerning demilitarisation and evacuation, dilemma of whether to go or stay with mixed messages given by the States, decided against going although her mother went splitting the family up, air raid, landing of Germans and her first impressions, the running of the island, agriculture in the island, buying of food in France, attempt to live normally, gradual worsening of conditions, church arrangements, beaches, cinemas, entertainment during the occupation-keeping up morale, transport-bicycles, buses, hospitals, schools-german lessons, deportation of Guernsey residents to the internment camps, press-censorship, proliferation of rumours, wirelesses and crystal sets, GUNS-Guernsey Underground News Sheet, Red Cross messages, dropping of leaflets, food, cooking and clothing, 'a housewife's nightmare'-rationing, bartering economy, improvisation of ingredients for recipes, methods of cooking, fuel and the difficulty of rationing, food-details of level of rationing with different foods, extracts from diary on the dishes she made, treatment by german soldiers, desperation near the end-eating of pets by germans, D-Day-tightening up of everything, arrival of SS Vega and the Red Cross parcels, stealing on the increase, Organisation Todt camp nearby, liberation day, reintroduction of mail service and the feelings of thankfulness at the close of occupation.

Reference: L/D/25/L/4

BBC Radio Jersey-Occupation Tapes. Told by the people who lived through it produced by Beth Lloyd. 1) Part 1: Preparing for the Inevitable. Alexander Coutanche talking about the surprise in the island when it was realised the island was not going to be defended and the evacuation was offered to the public. Eye witnesses talking about the panic of evacuation and the dilemma of whether to go or not, queuing to register, worry that the island was to be occupied, putting down of pets, Lord Coutanche being told to stay at his post and simplify the machinery of government, the potential blowing up of public utilities and the air raid on the island. 2) Part 2: The Germans Arrive. Eye witness accounts on seeing German planes flying low over the island and landing at the airport to begin the occupation, sending a message to the bailiff at the airport, meeting the germans for the first time, putting out white flags, demanding surrender, handing over the island, removal of the Union Jack from Fort Regent, BBC radio report on the start of the occupation, first impressions of the soldiers, germans buying food from the shops and the beginning of the paper war. 3) Part 3: Curbs on personal freedom. German orders being read out. Eye witnesses remember the losing of freedom, restrictions on vehicles, use of money paid for comandeered goods on essential supplies from France, orders against the use of coastal areas, changing side of the road to drive on, introduction and the experience of the curfew, life at the Evening Post, permits and other regulations. 4) Part 4: Food or the Lack of It. Poem on hunger. Eye witnesses talking about difficulty of lack of food and the improvisations with food, difficulty of feeding baby, difference between town and country people, suffering of women from malnutrition, children not knowing what food looked like, what people did to get by, food as subject of discussion, problem of lack of sugar and salt, use of potato flour, eating of seaweed, different methods of cooking and fuel, soup kitchens, bartering, farmers trying to get extra meat, getting extra eggs from chickens and keeping rabbits 5) Part 5: The wireless-Jersey's link with the outside world. Report by the BBC. Michael Ginns talking about eventual confiscation of radios. Eye witness accounts of v-signs at Rouge Bouillon, patrolling of district by islanders, confiscation and storage of radios, taking of radios from the parish hall, keeping of radios on threat of death, use of crystal radios sets, listening to the news, spreading of newsheets, the threat of being caught with radios and listening to tunes that had not been heard before the occupation 6) Part 6: Through the Eyes of a Child. Eye witness accounts of children and teenagers suffering a great deal, the fun children had, being hungry and cold, being without parents, relationships with german soldiers, schools continuing, difficulty of shortages of uniform, german lessons, soup kitchens, drilling on Victoria College playing fields, playing of sports, the Caerarean Tennis Club, riding on the german railway, mischief children got up to and scavenging for supplies. See R/06/2.

Reference: L/D/25/L/42

Occupation-BBC Radio Jersey tape. The story of the occupation of Jersey during World War 2 told by the people who lived through it produced by Beth Lloyd. 1) Part 1: Preparing for the Inevitable. Alexander Coutanche talking about the surprise in the island when it was realised the island was not going to be defended and the evacuation was offered to the public. Eye witnesses talking about the panic of evacuation and the dilemma of whether to go or not, queuing to register, worry that the island was to be occupied, putting down of pets, Lord Coutanche being told to stay at his post and simplify the machinery of government, the potential blowing up of public utilities and the air raid on the island. 2) Part 2: The Germans Arrive. Eye witness accounts on seeing German planes flying low over the island and landing at the airport to begin the occupation, sending a message to the bailiff at the airport, meeting the germans for the first time, putting out white flags, demanding surrender, handing over the island, removal of the Union Jack from Fort Regent, BBC radio report on the start of the occupation, first impressions of the soldiers, germans buying food from the shops and the beginning of the paper war. 3) Part 3: Curbs on personal freedom. German orders being read out. Eye witnesses remember the losing of freedom, restrictions on vehicles, use of money paid for comandeered goods on essential supplies from France, orders against the use of coastal areas, changing side of the road to drive on, introduction and the experience of the curfew, life at the Evening Post, permits and other regulations. 4) Part 4: Food or the Lack of It. Poem on hunger. Eye witnesses talking about difficulty of lack of food and the improvisations with food, difficulty of feeding baby, difference between town and country people, suffering of women from malnutrition, children not knowing what food looked like, what people did to get by, food as subject of discussion, problem of lack of sugar and salt, use of potato flour, eating of seaweed, different methods of cooking and fuel, soup kitchens, bartering, farmers trying to get extra meat, getting extra eggs from chickens and keeping rabbits

Reference: L/D/25/L/45

1) Interview on BBC Radio Jersey of Leslie Sinel on his life and the german occupation with musical interludes. Talks about Jersey-French and how much it was used, his school days, listening to music on crystal radios sets, school holidays coinciding with the potato season, the railway at the St Helier Harbour, joining the Evening Post, working as a printer, the printers used, the newspaper being distributed by horse and cart, 1910 the EP bought two motor cars for deliveries, using the train to deliver, what the trains were like, advent of the bus system, the tourism industry in the 1920s and 1930s and the difference to today, what he used to hear on the radio, becoming a proof reader at the EP towards the 30s, never wanting to be a journalist, the quality of newspapers today, the media in Jersey, his voluntary work he undertook as a constable's officer in St Saviour, a churchwarden in St Helier, being on the Welfare Board, the Burial Board and on the Battle of Flowers Committee and involved in the Eisteddfod, his work as an honorary policeman and his view on the police system as a whole, standing on duty at Government House when the queen visited, his desire to stay in the island, the parochial nature of the island, the JMT opening up the island, when cars became more common in the island, keeping a record of the occupation period, feelings when occupation was approaching, the demilitaristion of the island, the question of resistance and the impossibility of sabotage on the island, the guilt complex of not going to war, the dilemma of whether to evacuate, working under the germans at the newspaper throughout the occupation, censorship, necessary cooperation with the german forces, the trouble he got into at the newspaper, the scarcity of food, working for a farmer to get extra rations, learned how to make sugar beet and potato flour, trying to get hold of meat, listening to the BBC on his crystal radio set, the dissemination of news, using the german censor to gain information, his feelings at liberation, life since the war and on retirement, enjoys writing about historical and local events, would have liked to have been a teacher but looks back on life with no regrets. 2) Radio programme with people commenting on Lord Haw Haw's broadcasts and other radio programmes that were broadcast during the second world war by the Germans and by other nations in Europe.

Reference: L/D/25/L/56

Date: May 23rd 1982 - May 23rd 1982

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

Message from the King to the Bailiffs of Jersey and Guernsey read in the States, 24 June 1940. Concerns the withdrawal of the armed forces from the Channel Islands.

Reference: L/F/442/A7/1

Date: June 24th 1940 - June 24th 1940

Pay and Mess Roll for the Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey includes army number, rank and name of soldier, gross pay, cash payments, bills paid, notes and rations

Reference: L/F/97/M14/1

Date: October 27th 1939 - May 31st 1940

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