Thank you for following our virtual coverage of Liberation Day 2020.

So we can always remember how we all spent the 75th anniversary of  Liberation Day in lockdown we have made a video showing how we commemorated and celebrated Liberation at home. We will never forget this unique time in our lives and would like to thank all of you who shared their lockdown photos #Liberate75together.

Broadcaster and historian Dan Snow has visited the Islands of Guernsey several times to explore the remnants of the German occupying forces left across the islands after Liberation.

 

He will be interviewing the Lieutenant-Governor about what Liberation Day means to him.

Listen to Annie Barrows, the co-author of this best-selling novel, reading her favourite excerpt from the book, which was published in 2008. Set in 1946, the story follows a free-spirited journalist, who travels to Guernsey to find out more about the curiously named book club formed during the German Occupation.

 

The book uncovers the fascinating history of Guernsey under German rule, its subsequent liberation and the resilience of the islanders over that time whilst following the protagonist’s own love story.  

Capturing both the current situation of lockdown in Guernsey but also celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Liberation Day, staff of the Guernsey Music Service and students of the Guernsey Music Centre Electric Quartet have come together virtually to perform this wartime hit immortalised by Dame Vera Lynn. 

This performance features a double string quartet of 4 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos, and was produced by Sarah van Vlymen. 

The cakes are made, the table decorated in red, white and blue, you are dressed for the occasion, it's time to tune into BBC Guernsey and listen to 1940's music to set the scene. Listen here. 

Remember to share how you spent Liberation Day at Home with us using the hashtag #Liberate75Together

Three Guernsey Music Centre vocal students and the Guernsey Youth Orchestra principal trumpet have joined together virtually to record this track. All four are year 13 students who will be leaving Music Centre this year and are all A-Level Music Students at the Grammar School.

 

Edited and produced by Jacob Wright, a year 12 student of Elizabeth College and Music Centre.

 

Remember to share how you spent Liberation Day at Home with us using the hashtag #Liberate75Together

Three Guernsey Music Centre vocal students and the Guernsey Youth Orchestra principal trumpet have joined together virtually to record this track. All four are year 13 students who will be leaving Music Centre this year and are all A-Level Music Students at the Grammar School.

Edited and produced by Jacob Wright, a year 12 student of Elizabeth College and Music Centre.

A message from Her Majesty The Queen read by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder KBE, CB. The National anthem is performed by The Town Church Choir, Guernsey Music Centre Girls’ and Youth Choirs along with organ accompaniment from Stephen le Prevost.

 

Footage kindly supplied by The Guernsey Cine & Video Club & all productions directed & edited by Keith Tostevin.

 

Remember to share with us how you spent Liberation Day at Home by using the hashtag #Liberate75Together

An Interview by TV historian Dan Snow with Major Marco Ciotti looking at life in Government House during the German occupation and the challenges that faced the Bailiwick after liberation.

The 23rd April 2020 was the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of camp Lager Lindele near Biberach where many of those Guernsey people who were deported during the Occupation were detained.

 

Like Guernsey itself, this camp was liberated only just before the end of the war in Europe.

 

In recognition of the bonds of friendship and reconciliation between the two communities the Bailiff sent a message to the Mayor and citizens of Biberach and the Mayor of Biberach has kindly recorded this message for the people of Guernsey on our Liberation Day.  

A Liberation Day message from Dean Ledlie, grandson of Liberation veteran, Stuart Snow who was due to visit Guernsey from Australia to commemorate the 75th Anniversary followed by the Veteran interview.

Stuart Snow volunteered for a special operation it was called Force 135, Combined Operations coded Odyssey. He was taken out of his navy uniform and given a Marine uniform.  He was on the landing craft LCI(L)103 which went to Guernsey on the 9th May 1945. He recalls the sheer joy on Islander's faces as they arrived to liberate the island from German forces.

These personal messages were recorded especially for us in the homes of World War 2 veterans during lockdown in the week leading up to Liberation, The Veterans were due to visit Guernsey for the 75th Anniversary of Liberation. 

Jack Quinn who served with the Royal Marines and arrived in Guernsey on May 9th 1945 to liberate the island, reads a script about his life, recorded this week especially for us. He recalls how he had his first taste of potato peel pie!

Also, due to visit Guernsey was John Dennett who joined the Royal Navy in 1942 and was a seaman gunner. He served on the Lst 322 during the North Africa, Battle of the Atlantic, Italy star and Normandy campaigns. 

Richard Llewellyn had planned to join us for Liberation 75. A career in the Navy saw him  join the Invasion Force for the D-Day Landings in June 1944 bombarding enemy positions along the Normandy Coast. In October 1944 he was posted as Navigating Officer of Destroyer HMS Easton age just 19. By VE Day in 1945 the ship was in Chatham Dockyard for a refit before sailing to fight in the Japanese War. 

Thanks to Visit Guernsey for kindly permitting us to share these stories from children of the occupation. They feature interviews with members of our community who as children lived through the German occupation of Guernsey talking about food rations and the evacuation.

 

Food Rations: German forces occupied Guernsey from the 28th June 1940. A system of rationing was promptly introduced, with livestock and fishing monitored by the occupiers and farmers directed as to the crops they should grow. During the early Occupation, provisions were imported from mainland France. However, following the D-Day landings in June 1944, France was cut off and supplies mostly ceased. By Christmas 1944, both Islanders and the German troops were at the brink of starvation.

 

Listen to first-hand accounts filmed in 2018, from Islanders Molly Bihet, Derek Le Page, Dick Le Tissier and Diana Chesney as they recount the food shortages during this period and their joy in receiving food parcels from the Red Cross, and from Richard Heaume, owner of the German Occupation Museum, as he describes this devastating period of Guernsey’s history.

 

Evacuation: On the 19th June 1940, parents were faced with the impossible choice to separate the family by evacuating their children to England, or to stay as a complete family unit living under German rule.

 

This was a time of mass fear and panic and, ultimately, agonising heartbreak for the parents of the 5,000 children who were evacuated. Listen to first-hand accounts filmed in 2018, from Islanders Molly Bihet and Derek Le Page, who remained with their families in occupied Guernsey, and to Joyce Girard who was evacuated to England, little knowing she would be parted from her sister and parents for five long years.

 

Remember to share with us how you spent Liberation Day at Home by using the hashtag #Liberate75Together.

Watch the traditional Liberation Day church service filmed outside to mark the 75th Anniversary of Liberation Day.

 

The Full order of Service can be found here.

 

As the service begins,  the standard bearer moves from the entrance of the Town Church accompanied by a violin solo performed by Max Wong playing, Largo from Sonata for Solo Violin No. 3, BWV 1005/3 by J S Bach.

 

Max recorded this piece especially for the service on a violin that was made in 1660 by Jakob Stainer, who was the maker of J. S. Bach's very own violin.  The hymns throughout the service and the National Anthem have been created especially for Liberation Day by the Schools Music Centre, Youth Choir and Guernsey Girls' Choir who have worked in collaboration with the Town Church Choir.

 

We are hugely grateful for this contribution and for the virtual recording of 'You'll  Never Walk Alone' 

The traditional laying of the wreath at the memorial at the top of Smith street in St. Peter Port to remember those that fought for our freedom.