Jersey War Tunnels reveals Girl Guides secret wartime meetings

Margaret Hawkins, Archivist at Jersey Girl Guides, holding the Gilt Cross Credit: Jersey War Tunnels

Jersey War Tunnels has revealed secret meetings held by Girl Guides during the occupation to mark the anniversary of the end of WWII.

When German forces occupied Jersey during the Second World War, all uniformed organisations including the Girl Guides, were banned.

However Grace Le Roux - Captain of the 5th St Mark's Guide Company in St Helier - set up a secret group of Girl Guides at her house.

The girls did not wear uniforms but pledged their allegiance in secret with badges pinned under their coat collars.

The covert meetings involved continuing Girl Guide activities such as handicrafts to keep the girls' spirits up during a difficult time.

Similar meetings were held by groups in Gorey and St Aubin.

In 1945, Jersey's Lieutenant Governor presented Miss Le Roux with the Guilt Cross recognising her outstanding services over the wartime years.

News of the secret wartime meetings reached the Girl Guides from the Wimbledon district, where 1,500 girls each put one stitch onto the Wimbledon flag as a sign of their friendship and admiration for the brave Jersey guides.

The flag was brought over to Jersey in 1946 where it remains on display at the Guide Headquarters at Greve D'Azette.

Girl Guide archivist, Mary Hawkins says that actions of the Jersey Girl Guides during the war was representative of the Girl Guide ethos of 'self-sufficiency and caring for others'. She hopes that retelling these stories will inspire young girls today.