Learn about life in occupied Jersey

Here we have gathered stories from people who experienced life under German occupation, told first hand or passed down the generations in local families. They tell tales of everyday life, surprising events and often unexpectedly funny situations - but always the human story, of people surviving and living their life under extraordinary circumstances.

Blue-Eyed Boy

Blue-Eyed Boy

Whilst cycling along Jersey’s narrow lanes, find out how one young mother and her blue-eyed baby boy had a frightening encounter.

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Burglar Alarm

Burglar Alarm

Worried about the threat of thieves at night, one farmer's cunning plan to deter unwanted guests goes embarrassingly wrong.

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Jersey’s War Cemetery

Jersey’s War Cemetery

Located within Howard Davis Park and marked by distinctive oak crosses, discover the importance this unique war memorial has to Islanders.

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A Daring Raid!

A Daring Raid!

The Battle of Britain wasn’t the only military action to take place close to British soil. Find out about a lesser known, but extremely daring raid made by Allied forces just off the coast of Jersey during the summer of 1944.

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Secret Meetings

Secret Meetings

German forces imposed a huge number of restrictions on Islanders during the Occupation. They banned all uniformed organisations - including the Girl Guides! Find out how one brave islander took it upon herself to host regular Girl Guides meetings to keep the group going during the Occupation.

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Farmers’ sons

Farmers’ sons

Find out how an unspoken bond formed between a young German soldier and the son of Jersey farmer thanks to Jersey’s “beautiful cows”.

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Repatriation

Repatriation

In 1942, three friends - Peter Hassell, Maurice Gould and Dennis Audrain - attempted to escape from Jersey by boat, carrying plans of German fortifications.

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Drinking on an empty stomach

Drinking on an empty stomach

Alongside food rationing, the sale of alcohol was also banned by the Germans during the Occupation. Find out what happened to a group of friends who managed to obtain a cask of farm cider and indulge in a rare treat.

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Out with the Boys!

Out with the Boys!

On 28th June 1940, just a couple of days before the German forces invaded the Channel Islands, plans were made for both Jersey & Guernsey's lifeboats to head to the Isle of Wight, where they would be safely laid up for the duration of World War II.

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Unsung Heroes

Unsung Heroes

In May 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk rescued over 300,000 troops in an operation that has become legendary. Less well known is Operation 'Ariel', which took place just a couple of weeks later.

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The Gift

The Gift

For Islanders, the Occupation was a time of both extreme fear and astonishing compassion. Read an extraordinarily moving tale about how one farmer's widow helped a man in need at the risk of being caught.

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Beautiful Jersey

Beautiful Jersey

The Island’s adopted anthem is sung in public at the Liberation celebrations on 9th May each year and has formed part of the tradition. Can you recall the words to one of the island's most beloved songs?

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Telling Porkies!

Telling Porkies!

Pigs were much in demand during the Occupation, but also difficult to conceal from the authorities. Islanders tried all sorts of tricks to hide pigs in order to eat or trade the meat.

 

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Spreading the news

Spreading the news

For those who listened to their hidden wireless sets in secret, repeating any thing they had heard was dangerous. Everyone was hungry for news - but you had to know who you could trust. 

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A treasured gift

A treasured gift

Thanks to the International Red Cross, the Swedish ship SS Vega made six trips to the Channel Islands between December 1944 and the end of the War, bringing vital supplies.

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Leaving Home

Leaving Home

In 1940, news of the fall of France to German forces created a sudden crisis for Islanders. Should they stay? Or should they go, leaving behind their happy lives?

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