Health & Welfare

Spirit of adventure: Violetta Thurstan

25th April 2016
'Guernsey readers will read with interest of the adventure of Miss Violetta Thurstan, who is managing an ambulance unit in Spain.' This article, from the Star newspaper of April 1, 1937, recalls her war service and brings readers up to date with her activities in the Spanish Civil War. Violetta received the Mons Star, the Russian Royal Cross of St George, and, twice wounded, was awarded the Military Medal.

My little brothers: Christmas with Victor Hugo, 1862

From the Gazette de Guernesey, Saturday 27 December, a report on Hugo's Christmas party for deprived children; a letter from Hugo to his wife, whose idea it all was in the first place; and another to the French publisher Castel, in which he plans to donate the proceeds of a new book of drawings to his poor Guernsey protégés. The editor of the Gazette at this time was Hugo's friend and disciple, Guernseyman Henri Marquand. The photograph accompanying this article is dated 1868. It was taken in March by Arsène Garnier. (Another very similar set of photographs was taken by a Jerseyman named Henry Frankland in February 1868; the Library has a photographic plate of one of these iconic images.) This particular photograph was popular with the public at the time; they could buy it in the local shops.

The Town Hospital Gate, 1825

The impecunious Thomas Le Marchant of La Plaiderie died in 1762, leaving a family of young children. His estate at L'Hyvreuse, which included what is now Beau Séjour, was bought by William Dobrée , his children's guardian. Part was then sold to the States of Guernsey; L'Hyvreuse house was demolished and the land used for recreation and as a parade ground for the militia. The imposing double gateway, 'similar to that called Ivy Gates, but much handsomer,' to L'Hyvreuse house was all that remained; it then served as an entrance to the New Ground, or what we now know as Cambridge Park, but…