Islanders in Kitbags

29th November 2023
'Dedicated to more than 230 Guernsey sailors, soldiers and airmen who made the supreme sacrifice during the Second World War.' A list of the Guernsey servicemen and women whose biographies and accounts of their wartime experiences, often accompanied by photographs, are covered in this book by Richard Allisette, published by the Guernsey Press in 1985. There are copies in the Priaulx Library.

Herm is blown up by a mine, 4 January 1952

In view of the recent spectacular controlled detonation of a WWII bomb off Guernsey, here is a rather less controlled episode from 1952, in which the 28 inhabitants of Herm were incredibly lucky to escape injury or worse. 'Will you tell your husband when you go ashore that there is a mine somewhere off the Herm coast. Tell him to try and get a rope round it and pull it in; it will be quite harmless. It's been in the sea since the war and the firing mechanism will be rusted up.' Insurance did not cover damage by rogue mine, but the States stepped in to do the repairs, which were considerable.

The Harvey Family

Throughout the occupation of Guernsey (1940-45) Winifred Harvey (1888-1976) kept a diary, which has been edited and published under the title The Battle of Newlands, and which is still in print. In keeping her diary, she followed a family tradition; the Harveys have left behind them comprehensive records from the middle of the 19th century, so detailed that their lives could virtually be reconstructed from them, and much of that material is here at the Library. Their house, Newlands, is illustrated in the photograph above, from the Library Collection.