During the occupation of the Channel Islands it’s thought that about 1300 Channel Islanders were imprisoned in Jersey and Guernsey prisons during the occupation for acts of protest, defiance and resistance. Of these, at least 200 people were deported to Nazi prisons, labour and concentration camps on the continent. One of the most well known acts of resistance was the production of an underground News Letter “The Guernsey Underground News Service” or GUNS for short.
The Battle of Trafalgar was to witness both the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s plans to invade Britain, and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. It was never going to be any ordinary battle, and quickly acquired a heightened, almost magical, reality.
The Channel Islands were the most heavily fortified part of Hitlers’ Atlantic wall, particularly Alderney and Guernsey as the outlying islands in the Channel. So when, in 2018, a building project on Guernsey’s West coast unearthed a bunker complex that hadn’t seen the light of day since the war’s end you’ll understand our excitement when we were invited to view it prior to it being reburied and built upon.
The card game of Euchre can arguably be considered Guernsey’s national game. Across the island there’s a collective enthusiasm for the game that has resulted in leagues, clubs, Euchre drives and many a private euchre party . But how do you play it?
In the summer of 1994 the States of Guernsey commissioned the design for a new Liberation Monument, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Liberation from the German occupying forces in 1945. The result is a truly amazing fusion of art and science. On the 9th May each year the shadow from the needle-like monument falls across a bench recording the events of that day at the exact same time they occurred.
Guernsey’s historical pre-eminance as a horticultural centre for tomatoes is well known. Less well known is Guernseys cultivation of table grapes, which at one time was THE main export industry. The remnants of this industry can still be found in the language of your average ‘guern’ today – who often refers to greenhouses exclusively as vineries – even though its many decades since they grew any grapes.
At the entrance to the St Martin’s Church yard there is a rather curious pagan symbol that has no real business being there, right next to a Christian Church. It’s a standing stone carved into the shape of a female figure known as La Gran’mere du Chimquiere (Grandmother of the cemetery). What is more there’s a second such stone outside the Castel Church. So where did they come from and why are they outside 2 island churches ?
One of the most enduring effects of Guernsey’s association with Normandy is the system of fiefs in the island. The island’s link with the Crown is feudal, as the Queen is still Duchess of Normandy. In this article we look at how Guernsey’s fiefs came about and how they worked.
The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, and a limited telephone network was in operation in London as early as 1879. Before long, this had spread to other areas of Britain, and it was only a matter of time before Guernsey showed an interest.
Place-names are not just arbitrary sounds or quaint words. They had meaning to our remote ancestors who derived them for a reason. They give us insight into their world . In this article we look at just a few of some of Guernsey’s place names and their meanings.
Standing opposite each other in Victoria Gardens opposite the Town Fire Station, like sentinels from another age, you’ll find two heavy calibre artillery pieces – trophies of a previous war. They’re not British or even French but German and date back not to the dark days of Occupation but to the First World War. How they came to be here and their survival through another world war, and subsequent re-discovery, is even more fascinating.
The Bayeux Tapestry tells one of the most famous stories in British history – that of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, particularly the battle of Hastings, which took place on 14 October 1066. But who made the tapestry and how long did it take?
The film “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society”, released in 2018 , has thrust Guernsey onto the World stage and has again highlighted to the world that the Channel Islands were the ONLY part of Britain to be occupied by the Nazis in World War II. In this article we can’t hope to cover the German Occupation in the necessary detail to do it justice or to even express adequately the pain and suffering of islanders in a time that must surely be one of our islands most darkest ordeals in its long history. Instead we simply offer up a short link to a video interview of some people who were actually there !
Guernsey folklore used to possess a rich set of ancient cures and remedies for various ailments intermingled with many superstitious tales. In this article we look at a few.
Whilst the RGLI can be considered Guernsey’s ‘official’ response to the war it wasn’t the islands only one. One such contribution was the creation of a number of hospital facilities right here on the island for soldiers who were returning sick or wounded from the trenches.