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.
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.
It can often seem that history books are packed with marauding royals, dishonest politicians, warring nations and murderous plots. However, history is also full of examples of kind and good gestures. In this article we look at 4 acts of kindness and bravery that have changed history forever.
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 !
Not a lot happens on the island of Sark, that was until August 1990, when it was the centre of a bizarre invasion and attempted coup. What is more, the manner of the ‘official response’ to this armed incursion was equally extraordinary. Invasion! Frenchman Andre Gardes, an unemployed nuclear physicist, having convinced himself that he was the rightful heir and “Seigneur” of Sark, resolved to take action....
1918 – At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month an armistice, signed 6 hours before in French marshal Ferdinand Foch’s railway carriage at Compiegne, France, took effect between the Allies and the Central Powers, bringing the First World War to a close after 4 years, 3 months and 9 days of fighting.
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.
Every year in Britain on November 5th, thousands of us make life-size effigies of pne of the most infamous men in British History – Guy Fawkes. We then proceed to set him on fire and then let off lots of fireworks. But who was Guy Fawkes and what do we know about him ? In this article we explore the life of the conspirator most closely associated with the foiled plot.
“How Far Back in Time Could an English Speaker Go and Still Understand the Language ?” In a Nutshell : it would be somewhere between 400 to 500 yrs ago. In order to justify this let’s compare how the speech of ‘English’ speakers sounded in Chaucer’s time, the late 14th Century, with that in the late 16th Century – at the time of Shakespeare.
Tucked away in the corner of Guernsey’s Priaulx Library is a framed plaque, written in ornate gothic script that lists the names of 29 Guernseymen. Not just any Guernseymen but men who were there at the possibly most famous naval engagement in history. It’s a list to make you stop and wonder what deeds these men performed that day, what horrors and what acts of courage they witnessed. We may never know for sure but in this article we dig into some of the details of these men that we do know. Men who, that day of days, served their beloved Admiral Nelson and the hungry guns.
So, you’re country is engaged in a World War, its stands alone against a ruthless enemy and is fighting for its very existence. What should you do to ensure victory? How can you stiffen the nation’s resolve to fight and never surrender? This dilemma was faced by the British in 1942 during World War II and with typical British aplomb the solution they chose was … to buy all the tea in the World! A Desperate Situation...
The British Parliament is often referred to as the Mother of Parliaments (in fact a misquotation of John Bright, who remarked in 1865 that “England is the Mother of Parliaments”) because the British Parliament has been the model for most other parliamentary systems. In this article we look at 4 other amazing facts about one of our most venerated institutions.
Did you grab a cup of coffee on your way to work this morning, or drop in to a coffee shop with a friend to gossip whilst savouring the bitter sweet nectar of the that king of all beans the coffee berry ? If you’d done this in the 17th Century then you might have been regarded as either a subversive or or a danger to the moral fabric of society.
One of the world’s most chilling ruins is the Ploutonion at Hierapolis, “the Gates to Hell”. Here crowds watched priests lead animal sacrifices down into a cave, where they died mysteriously as if dragged down to the underworld. No one knew how they did it, that is, until very recently.