The period 20 to 23 June 2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the wartime evacuation of 17,000 people from Guernsey. The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture feel that it is important to commemorate this anniversary. “The evacuation was a truly unique time in our Island’s history and one that we will always remember. It was a time of great emotional upheaval for families who spent many years separated from their loved ones. The Committee would like to thank all evacuation researcher, Gillian Mawson for writing this piece on our behalf to commemorate the 80th anniversary”.

 

In mid-June 1940, as Nazi troops swept through France towards the coast, fears arose in Guernsey that their island would be invaded too. The States decided to evacuate Guernsey's school children to the safety of England. Between 20 and 23 June around 5,000 children left Guernsey by boat, along with 12,000 adults including teachers, mothers, pregnant women and men who wished to join the Forces. In 2009, the late Len Robilliard recorded his memories of leaving Guernsey on the 'SS Viking.'  

 

Len Robilliard Interviewed in 2009
00:00 / 02:11

Len pictured at the age of 18 in 1945.

After a harrowing 70 mile journey across the Channel, the exhausted evacuees finally reached Weymouth. Because the South coast was experiencing air raids, the evacuees were quickly moved out of Weymouth by steam train. Most had never seen a train before and Guernsey teacher, Miss Grace Fry recalled, “Soldiers began to push the children onto the train which then started to move! One soldier grabbed my hand and said ‘Can you run?’ A steward appeared at the open train door, the soldier pushed me into his arms, then off we went. We had no idea where we were going!” Many hours later, the evacuees arrived in the unfamiliar industrial areas of Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Glasgow. They were then taken into public buildings, such as Town Halls, churches and Masonic Halls, which had been hurriedly transformed into Evacuee Reception Centres. On 28 June, they received the terrible news that Germany had bombed Guernsey’s harbour. Two days later, Guernsey was occupied by Germany and thousands of people’s lives were changed forever. 

Author of the book ‘Guernsey Evacuees’ Gillian Mawson has writing a feature especially commissioned for the 80th Anniversary, including memories from evacuees of what life was life during this time in our Island's history.

Evacuees have strong memories of leaving Guernsey, 80 years ago, as Irene Moss (nee Hawkins) explains, “My abiding memories are ones of apprehension and sadness. Arriving at school the first day of the evacuation, only to be sent home again as there were  nsufficient boats and returning with my four younger siblings the next day to find that only half the children had returned. To meeting my Grandpere on that second day on our way to school and him giving each of us a kiss and saying “Goodbye my dears, I may not see you again” and not understanding what he meant. The strangeness of everything in England on our arrival and the never ending train journey with us packed in carriages sleeping on top of one another. We were not to return to our beloved Guernsey or see our parents for five long years. I left the island as a child and returned as a young woman.” 

Pamela Hallworth (nee Pillage) was taken into the home of the Phillips family in Disley,

Cheshire and has also recorded her memories. 

Irene stands behind her sisters

Margaret, Thelma and Marion.

Pamela Hallworth Interview
00:00 / 02:53
Hazel Knowles interviewed in 2009 USE.
00:00 / 02:51

Mavis Brown (nee Duquemin) left Guernsey at the age of 3, “My family evacuated to a smoky northern town called Stockport, leaving my idyllic home near the sea and an extensive extended Guernsey family. I was too young to understand what was happening and it was obviously a traumatic event, my Father and Sister were in different parts of the country, we didn’t know where they had been taken. From that day my life changed completely and not for the better. As I get older I bitterly regret having to leave my beautiful island home and the idyllic childhood I lost. The next 5 years were very unsettled, we moved a number of times, different schools. Although I have visited Guernsey every year but one, at least once a year, this is going to be the second year I will not be able to visit, it doesn’t make up for all I lost. I feel very emotional whenever I leave my beautiful island of Guernsey.” Sadly, Mavis's sister, Hazel, passed away in January 2020 but in 2009 she recorded these evacuation memories:  

Len Roberts describes being evacuated to Bury, “June 20th 1940 was a bewildering, confusing and desperately sad day for a ten-year-old. Events had developed at a frightening pace over the previous forty-eight hours. Then in the dark, leaving my home and parents, sitting for hours on the pier with crowds of children, waiting for boats until the afternoon. The full significance of what was happening was not apparent at the time. Subsequent journeys and locations introduced me to a strange, fascinating world, quite unlike anything known before (including trains!) and landscapes far removed from those of my home Island (grimy buildings, up North.) I was billeted, along with two other boys, John and Ronnie, at the home of Mr Whitehead, who was the Mayor of Bury. The eventual relief and joy of being reunited with my family in Yorkshire was indescribable.” 

Hazel (left) and Mavis (right) just

before the evacuation.

Pamela wearing her new dress in July 1940.

John, Ronnie and Len (far right) in front of Mr. Whitehead's Study)

Mr John Whitehead, Mayor of Bury

Evacuees outside St Mary's church in June 2010. Pictured centre is the Bailiff, Sir Geoffrey Rowland and on the far right are Deputy Mike O'Hara and Gillian Mawson.

Evacuees who were to attend Stockport's June 2020 service have shared their feelings regarding this momentous anniversary of their evacuation. Irene Moss states, “The evacuation may have saved my life but it robbed me of my family childhood and changed the course of my life. So I am always filled with mixed emotions at this anniversary as I remember the past, even more so this year as I am not able to meet up with my fellow evacuees with whom I have a common bond. The cancellation of the 80th anniversary service for evacuees at St Marys in Stockport, due to COVID-19 restrictions, is a big disappointment to us all.” The final word goes to Len Roberts, “It is 80 years since that fateful day, and I am still alive and of sound mind and body to recollect it! In time, the realisation of the agonising, heart-breaking decisions which had been made in haste by mine and thousands of other parents, loss of home, family and my beloved Island impinged on my consciousness, causing conflicting emotion. In part, however, this was counteracted by the kindness and care of those who took me in, and the new - sometimes exciting - situations and environments experienced.”

An 80th Anniversary church service was planned in Stockport for Sunday 28 June but has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The venue was St Mary's Parish Church where a similar service, marking the 70th anniversary of the evacuation, was organised in June 2010 by evacuation researcher, Gillian Mawson.

Evacuation researcher, Gillian Mawson, is working on a special church service, marking the 80th anniversary of the evacuation. This will be aired on Sunday 28 June at 8am on BBC Radio Guernsey.

 
 
 

Words about the poem from Trudie: 

The poem is based on the story of my mum's cousin, the youngest of six children and is entirely true save for a little poetic licence. She left the island aged twelve and I have only recently understood through family papers that she didn’t leave the island with her mum but was evacuated with the school and that her mother, elder sister and brother left the island soon after. Her father had said he would meet them but had no intention of leaving the island.

 

They ended up in Bradford. I know she hated the place even though she was billeted with a couple who were childless and very kind to her. They really would have loved to have kept her and wanted her to call them mum and dad. Her brother,  aged just nineteen was killed on 'The Hood'  and her mum did not cry but developed weeping eczema. It was after this that she sent for her daughter to be with her. I think she actually returned to the island when she was eighteen, not nineteen. I know too that she found life rather difficult on her return as her family all very much treated her as the twelve year old child who had left rather than the  independent young woman who had been working for some time.

Kathy Heaton wrote the following poem in memory of her mother, Hazel Knowles (neé Duquemin) who was evacuated at the age of 8. 

 

Hazel was evacuated with her school, her mother and younger sister left on another ship and her father followed them a few days later.

It was quite some time before the whole family were reunited in Stockport. Hazel passed away on 5 January 2020.

 

If I was here.........

 

I would remember the day

I had to go away

To a strange land I was bound 

With only my school friends around 

 

I would remember the boat

And being afloat

It took almost a day 

I was sick all the way

 

Next came the train

I was sick once again

This time for my home 

I felt so alone

 

I’d remember the strange sight

Of cows black and white!

The skies were so grey

My family so far away

 

I’d remember our plight

And the feeling of fright

When I saw my new home

I was there on my own

 

I’d remember the day 

I was taken away

To a home strict and cruel

And a dreadful new school 

 

But I’d also recall 

Being saved from it all

Mother and Mavis were here

I no longer felt fear

 

To Ireland we went

Where Father was sent

A family once more

Together we’d endure

 

If I were here I’d recall

At the end of it all 

I’d meet the love of my life

Who would make me his wife

 

If I was here I’d fly the flag and raise a glass 

To those still here and those who have passed 

To Sarnia Cherie

To what my island home meant to me.

Evacuation Poems read by Beryl Kellow, Karen Simpson & Janine Le Cras

 

Poems to celebrate Liberation and to Reflect on Occupation

On 9th May 2020 the Island celebrated 75 years of liberation from the occupation of the Nazis during World War 2. On this date and for each of those seventy-five years, the people of Guernsey have celebrated this freedom and remembered the sacrifices made during that difficult time.

In the Spring of 2020 a poetry competition took place asking school students to write poems about the experience during occupation and the joy of liberation on 9th May 1945, after 5 long years.

Students from schools across the Bailiwick talked to their grandparents, heard first-hand from people who were children at the time, and learnt about how it affected their family. It is so important the young people learn about this, as it disappears from living memory.

The poems were judged by local sixth form students studying English, who chose the final nine. Online voting was used to identify an overall winner from the nine finalists. These students also had the opportunity to read out their poems on Radio Guernsey in the JKT show.

The finalists will received engraved medal and vouchers to spend. The winner also will receive a shimmering, engraved, glass pyramid trophy, and a Liberation afternoon tea at the Old Government Hotel was also donated. No prizes have been awarded yet as we are still in lockdown due to the virus.

The 2020 Liberation day was going to be a special celebration for the 75th Anniversary with lots of different events planned down at the harbour of St Peter Port. These poems, written by school children, were going to be displayed in a tent on the quayside. COVID19 put a stop to this so reflections, remembrance, and celebrations have now gone online.

Please enjoy reading the poems.

 

Time after Time Zoe Collins

The day had come; war had started,

I could taste fear in the air.
The guns were already shooting.
I was four, my parents told me,

to get packed for a journey.

I had only packed a few things
before the sun was no more.
People were queuing at the harbour,

Screaming at the boats, babies bawling.

Mum took me to the teacher.

I was taken away,
I never saw her again for years to come.

The next moment I can remember

was on a rocking boat sailing

away from my beloved Guernsey

and my parents.

I didn't know what the soldiers would do to them.

My teacher was as strict as ever.
I was so downhearted to see the island

disappearing from my sight.

After five years of German

occupation I finally came home.
But I hardly recognised
those strangers who were my family.

I went away Alexa Stockwell

June 1940.
That was the day,
When all normal happenings,

Just went away.

Germans forced my dad to do their work (I think they

should’ve helped too!)

My cousin, he was sent away,

Then I had no one to play.

I had to go to England
I stayed there for years.
I couldn’t be with any of my school peers.

I really missed my family,
and our little house
and even our tiny little Kitchen mouse.

Then finally five years later,
I could come back home!
I jumped skipped and leaped about,

When the Germans had to go!

Then it was finally Liberation day!

Patchy Eve Hartley

Together we boarded the ship,
Hand in hand with Patchy,
We waved farewell to Mama and Papa,

Tears racing down our cheek.

A man held me back, as I tried to get away, Screaming, shouting, wailing I was,
Curled up in a ball, I sniff Patchy,
I always feel better when I smell his soothing scent, Soon my parents were a little dot in the distance.

Sent away to live with Mrs Earl,
Be quiet! Don’t touch! Do this!

Do that! I soon felt like a slave,
I was only five years old,
But I know that I will always love Patchy.

Holding Patchy’s scruffy little hand reassuringly, It was May 1945,
Waving good-bye to the malicious Mrs Earl,

Patchy and I put our best foot forward,

And boarded the boat,

The boat home,
The boat to freedom.

Goodbye Amelie Rochester

 

The lingering kiss of goodbye,

Still clings to the tip of my tongue.

Mother cries tears of hope and love,

As the sky cried tears of a storm.

My arms still aching,
Longing for the hug to never end.

An unknown hand pushes my back,
And my sweaty, loving hands leave her patterned frock.

Screams pinch at the back of my throat,

Untamed, wild.

As the boat pulls slowly away,
The tears prick my yearning eyes, stinging in anger.

All I want is Mother, with her sweet voice, And her chestnut brown hair.

But she’s at home,
I shan’t be able to live without her hand in mine.

I hope it stops soon Isabella Morgan

Today is sad.
Today is the evacuation.

The German soldiers came,

And shot some people.

It is hard when we leave our families.
I have to stay in my house.
At the black sparkly sky at night and stare at the moon,

We have to leave with our teachers,
Going backwards and forwards
But I hope it stops soon.

I’m going to miss my cuddly toys,
I see all the boys passing by,
But I really hope it stops soon.
I wish I had delicious food, to fill my hunger,

Dreaming all day and night,

Then I heard a tremendous loud bang....

I’m wondering what it was,
But I was too scared and frightened.

That I couldn't stay alive,

I went to my beautiful mother.

Before I was going to bed,
And she hugged me forever.

Then I woke up with a stretch and a yawn,

I looked at the soldiers.
I was too scared to look at the window,

But I hope it stops soon.

Now 5 years later,
I’m with a different family.
I don't remember my old family.

When I came back with a big heavy sack full of clothes,

that I saw Lots of people are cheering of excitement.
I was so happy.

Shine Isabella Blackwell

The press fell through the post-box this lunch,

At twelve o’clock jus noon,
My mother just stared and stared,
I shook her but she remained still,

You have to go tomorrow she cried,

I got her tissue and her eye, I dried.

I wrote my letters goodbye tonight,
My emotions going crazy.
I turned out the light and closed my eyes,

Thinking about tomorrow,
What would happen at noon,
When my family fell out of sight.

My family fell out of sight today,
A twelve o’clock just noon,
Wet salty cheeks from everlasting tears,
That are dripping down my face,
I think on the bright side, well at least I try,
But my mind keeps changing to my past life lost.

The boat was rough, and I felt a jolt,
All of the children fell and screamed,
I wish I had my mummy one said,
I thought that in my own little head,
Then, a big horn honked and scared me,
Then, a massive wave came and sent the boat sinking.

The suitcase flung open,
The latches now broken,
My eyes are awoken,
By tears streaming down my face,

My past life flooding back,

My life will never be the same,

Everything had lost its shine.

Who will pick me? Evie Linane

As I step of a train for the first time,
I feel the hippy wind blow up my scarlet dress.
I don’t know where to go,
I don’t know what to do.
The only thing I do know is that I am trapped

being held captive in this foreign place.

I sit in a room for hours staring at my feet,
Wondering who will pick me and why aren’t they picking me.

Eventually I hear some sweat voice whisper in my ear.
She said, ‘you’re coming home with me love no need to worry now.’

She took my hand as we walked back to my new home,
It wasn’t big but it didn’t matter for I had her by my side.
I got called for supper anxious I was,
But it didn’t matter for I had her by my side.

Occupation Louisa Hardouin-Munro

We were sent to foreign countries,

to places far,
Sent away to unknown strangers,

without having a say.

I was scared,
I was frightened,
and I don’t know why,
but my stomach tightened.

I held on tight to my dear mother,

And cried until I could cry no more,

Then I waved goodbye,
and leapt through boats door.

We landed on an Island,

much bigger than our home,

With lots of food and land,

and a little garden gnome.

A reflection on the Occupation by the 3rd Guernsey Cubs

 
 
 

Excerpt from the diary of Ladies College head teacher, Mrs Ellershaw who went with the girls of the Ladies College to the UK and who kept the school going for five years during the War. The excerpts are read in the video by current pupils of the Ladies College.

 

The Ladies' College 1939-1945

Extracts from an account by then principal, Miss E.M. Ellershaw with comments by current students.

"Term began in September 1939 with much increased numbers, the highest for any term since the College was opened. Many parents who had relations in Guernsey had sent their children to the Island as a safe place; others who had been on holiday here when war was declared had decided it was wiser to leave children here even if they themselves had to return to England; and for the days of the "phoney war" it almost seemed they were right."

"With the Summer term of 1940 the picture changed. The fall of Holland and Belgium, followed by Dunkirk, spread anxiety through the Channel Islands, but the word evacuation was not generally used until the sound of the guns in France was already heard across the sea.

Some of the girls had left Guernsey privately but the knowledge that the school would go as a unit was only made public on 19 June 1940. On that morning the heads of Guernsey schools were called to a meeting at the Education Office and told the policy of the States, that the schools should go out as bodies to England, each school in the charge of its own staff. Boats were coming and schools must be ready to leave within twenty-four hours. Parents who were unable or unwilling to leave could thus send their children to the mainland in the care of the school."

"From that moment normal life was suspended. The news was announced to the school and each girl went home with a letter to her parents asking them to state whether or not their daughter was to join the school party. In addition, she took the necessary items of clothing to be packed, as a suitcase apiece, to be carried by its owner, was all that could be taken."

"The following morning, Thursday June 20th, the College assembled. We knew the first school party had left in the middle of the night, but the day wore on and the summons did not come. Somehow Mrs Blackmore, the matron, provided lunch and tea but it was not until almost 9pm that the staff and a hundred girls went in bright moonlight to the harbour where the cargo boat Batavier IV, was coming in. With Elizabeth College and the two Intermediate schools, we embarked and set out for England."

"The voyage was long and uncomfortable. The boat was crowded, with the younger children above and the seniors mainly in the hold. However, rolling ourselves in the rugs which had figured in the kit list, we curled up on the extremely dirty floor and even gained a modicum of sleep.

Daylight came and at last Weymouth was sighted; but a short distance off-shore the boat was halted and swayed backwards and forwards in a very unsettling motion. At length, a pilot boat led it through the protecting mine- field, and College disembarked to face the first of many health examinations. This one proved simple and, tagged with labels proclaiming freedom from infection, the girls passed on to a cinema where a meal was provided. From there buses took the schools to a station, and with Elizabeth College and the Boys' Intermediate School, we scrambled aboard a train for an 'unknown destination'".

The College was transferred by train to Oldham in Lancashire where they stayed at the Baptist Sunday School premises:

"After breakfast on June 21st College settled into its new quarters, the large dormitory above with an equally large dining room below, as well as several smaller rooms. A time-table soon evolved with a squad of girls helping with meals, while another squad, directed by one of the staff, saw to the tidying of the rooms. At first, time was taken up by medical inspections, but after that expeditions were taken by the staff to places of interest or even to the moors surrounding the town, while very soon a certain number of lessons were introduced to give backbone to the day. These were something of an ordeal for both staff and girls as of course there were no books at all. On the second night an air raid warning woke us, and in coats over night things we went to shelters but luckily no bombs fell.

Meanwhile offers of help came from the kind people of Oldham."

This included making arrangements for those girls already entered for examinations to sit their papers; those who did scored remarkably well under the circumstances.

"As the days went by, several girls left us, fetched by parents or relatives in England, but numbers were still high and the future had to be considered.
Wonderfully kind as the people of Oldham were, they had not expected school children to be sent to them as their own school accommodation was limited, and now that Guernsey was occupied by the Germans it was obvious the stay would be long. Various plans were mooted and it was eventually determined that the two Colleges should move into Derbyshire to the village of Great Hucklow."

After the remainder of the summer in Derbyshire, the College's final wartime move took place in September 1940 with the move to Howell's School, Denbigh, Wales:

"On arriving in Denbigh a health inspection again took place and College could not show a clean bill of health as there was quarantine for German measles, a complaint which showed itself during the weeks in Hucklow.

Howell's School... delighted everyone by its fine buildings and large playing field and, best of all, its swimming pool. The latter proved a disappointment as, for all the five years of the war, the pool was drained lest it should prove a landmark for German planes.

Three large formrooms were given us, together with three music cubicles to act as staff rooms; space was allocated in the cloakroom while for morning assembly College used the lecture theatre at the same time that Howell's School was meeting in the Great Hall just opposite."

"At first a problem was created by the quarantine, but we were allowed to use our classrooms as long as the girls did not mix with Howell's girls in the passages and elsewhere. Hence for nearly six weeks we peered anxiously out of our doors before emerging and then dashed into the open air. Still, it was remarkable that we did keep our germs to ourselves, and also that we never again suffered from an epidemic during the war years."

 

Sixty-three College girls had come to Denbigh, aged from six to eighteen. At Easter 1941, with the numbers stable at about 60, there were four staff. Teaching the range of subjects to such a range of ages was challenging, but helped by the Howell's headmistress opening up their classes in art, science, games and gymnastics. College girls also started to wear the Howell's blue tunic.

Retired principal, Miss Alice Mellish, joined the College in 1941, teaching Latin and other subjects and supporting the girls and staff with her "common sense" and "sense of humour".

"Throughout the war years work for School Certificate was continued while those girls who took Higher Certificate often joined Howell's classes. A high standard of passes was maintained.

In recreation as in work Howell's School made us welcome. In our first term there, several girls were incorporated into their Christmas tableaux and College was always invited to plays, concerts and lectures. In this way we were enabled to see Medea with Sybil Thorndyke [one of the most famous actresses of the day].

More than one girl learned to spin and weave wool, some of which they had themselves helped to gather from the strands left on the thorn bushes on the hills round Denbigh."

"College itself had its own celebrations. From the first year a special party was held on June 20th, the anniversary of the departure from Guernsey. In 1941 this took the form of a picnic in the gardens of Castle House where the four houses (for these were kept up during the war years) produced entertainments for each other. Those who were there probably still remember Peggy Bird's appearance as Hitler!

In the summer a day was generally spent at the sea at Rhyl, and great was the excitement at bathing once more."

"Although the girls were in billets there were many problems. At times the billet added to these problems for it is not in human nature for any child to shake down happily in any household. On the whole however a solution was found and the hostesses were most generous. Clothing was another difficulty. Some girls had relatives who could help but many were entirely dependent on College. It was a great relief that the girls had been made to travel in winter uniforms. At least these were the sturdy tunics and strong silk blouses of pre-war days. These gave yeoman service, passing from one owner to another until they finally dropped to pieces to be replaced by the shoddy tunics of wartime. Summer uniform presented fewer difficulties as bales of the green check gingham were acquired and made into frocks locally. It was at this time too that College took to berets in place of the velours and panamas of peace time. Plain green blazers were obtained, but many keen workers embroidered the College badge on their own blazer pockets. Since we were sharing the buildings of another school it was felt that a standard of uniform must be kept up."

"The years passed and even the youngest children who had been evacuated from Guernsey were senior members of the middle school. Our only means of communication with the island was of course Red Cross letter, and it was a great day when a batch arrived. Once, special photographs of the school were taken and sent to Guernsey via a prisoner of war, so that parents should at least see how their children were looking. In 1944 there was still no sign of our return home."

"Then in 1945 came the turn of the tide. The Channel Islands were liberated and excitement grew. At last it was heard that the College party was to return on August 3rd. Term ended and everyone packed, a very different packing from five years back. Now it needed an extra railway container to take the cases of school books and the extra luggage amassed in Denbigh. Those girls who had parents in England joined them, but an excited party of thirty-one girls finally set off...on our way to London."

"That night was spent in a rest centre near Waterloo Station but the crossing was not to be made till the following night, so parties set off after breakfast next morning to see something of London. The day went quickly and before the end we were joined by seven Old Girls and also a number of unaccompanied Guernsey children who were to travel with the College. It was a party of fifty-five that finally embarked on the small vessel Hantonia for the final stage of the journey. Not many people slept much that night and the journey seemed long, but when daylight came we saw the reason. Hantonia, instead of taking the usual route, had circled the island and was sailing along the South coast of Guernsey round by St Martin's Point and so into the harbour where a crowd of parents was waiting on the jetty... So after five years College came home.

 

It came home united and very conscious of its entity as a school. Our lines had fallen in pleasant places and we had made many friends.... Now it was ready to face the task of starting again in its old home. That it was so ready and so able was due to the hard work and devotion of the staff for these years, and the courage and good sense which the girls had shown throughout."

"There was an unbelievable moment when the bus bringing us from the White Rock turned the corner to Cordier Hill, and we saw the College hung with flags to greet us, and the still more incredible moment when I stepped into my study and saw it to all intents exactly as I had left it that summer evening in 1940. The wonder grew and deepened as I explored the College. Some things had disappeared, of course, and very much was worn and battered but so much remained! And all these marvels were the work of our Bursar, Miss Lainé."

Miss Lainé kept a detailed diary during the Occupation, a copy of which is still kept in College.

From an evacuee:

"Miss Ellershaw paid tribute to all who contributed to make a success out of a disaster- with one exception. We who shared the experience of the long evacuation want to pay our tribute to her. In all those five long years we leaned upon her; she shouldered the ultimate responsibility. Her administration, her courage, her steadfastness, her humanity and her care for one and all, made her the Headmistress we trusted and respected, who brought College back in good heart to our own island once more."

 

An Evacuation Interview with my grandpa by Lucy Symons.

 

A La Perchoine was first performed in 1990 and was a result of a

collaboration between the late John Loaring and Martin Cordall.

It was written not only as a performance piece, but also as a

commemoration of 'that generation of schoolchildren who, despite

the hardship of the experience, displayed courage and fortitude

which has probably served them all their lives.'  It also serves to

highlight the professionalism and dedication of the teachers (and

helpers) who, by their selfless commitment to their charges, helped

cushion the blow of the separation. The planned staging of

A La Perchoine has been postponed until 2021. We are pleased to

offer some of the specially recorded materials from the current

cast as well as excerpts from the original cast recording (which

is available on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify; or as a full ‘concept'

CD - direct from Martin Cordall)

 

Back in March Guernsey Post and the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture teamed up to launch the Letters Home Competition in celebration of 75th Anniversary of Liberation.  Guernsey Post delivered competition postcards to all residential properties in Guernsey and Herm and invited children to take part and think about the meaning of Liberation Day.  

There were 3 age categories and Deputy Matt Fallaize and Nikki Symons, Head of Marketing and Events, Sport & Culture, had the difficult task of judging the entries.

The winner of the 5 to 8 years category was Elsa Violet Bisson, age 7.  Elsa’s letter transported the judges to the hall she described and how frightening that would have been for a child. The judges also loved the use of Guernsey French in this letter too.

The winner of the 9 to 11 years category was Grace Ogier, age 10. Grace’s letter used descriptive language describing her emotions and the difference between Guernsey and Stockport which gave a feel of how daunting and scary it must have been to arrive in a strange town alone.

The winner of the 11years and over category (photographic entries) was Amelie Watts, age 11. Amelie’s photo was chosen as the judges felt it represented how the landscape changed during the German occupation of the island and the barbed wire gave a feeling of imprisonment and loss of liberty. 

Elsa said that she is really happy and excited to win.She said she really enjoyed writing the postcard because she learnt about how the children were feeling in England.

Grace Ogier said “I am thrilled to have won this competition, I feel like I worked hard at my postcard.I got my inspiration from my great uncle who was evacuated to Bolton during World War 2 and it made me think about how I would have felt to be evacuated.”

Amelie Watts said: ‘I’ve always enjoyed taking photos with my phone. My Pops encouraged me to go the extra mile by helping me collect the props and find the right location for this photo. I was really pleased it captured the idea of liberation.’